Who Dream Owning
Thieves have beautiful dreams;
They go crawling in tunnels, lit
By dim bulbs, and through low, black doors.
They sidle up boiler room pipes
And slither over cables
In elevator shafts. Steel tables
Yawn like fish to pallid fingers: goods,
Not orchids and soft raiment, but money,
Flat green bills, brown liquors,
Or curious pills, and fat food.
There are dog nights, too: cold, smart hands
On the outer knob, dream sweat dripping
Over rank closet coats; thieves know
The urgency of hiding, the hounding
Need to contain, to know possessions.
Fish don't dream. Their mouths
Gobble water greedily
As they slide in unperceived grass.
Animals sleep. Only people dream;
In joyful dreaming, stars seed
The clouds, winding upward and forcing
Earthward; flowers and rain united
Grow. The thief rolls on the coverlet;
Money streams down, coins are stuck in dirt,
The hands of the mind jam coins in pockets.
Out of holes, coins slide like cold eels;
He holds, hides. Yet thieves must wheel as the earth
Revolves; great men, dogs and swift fish spin,
Dreams swing, and slide and swing, and wheel.
And the axis stars, own nothing.

© 1999, 2000 Grace Solomonoff