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The World Moves in Reverse

by Ljubo Popovich

The child wears my face awkwardly
Like a popular Halloween disguise
My tired expression a mask over his own

Insomnia has hung dark curtains under my eyes

The sunset explodes into a burst of clouds
The lights blink off
Down the street
My family has disappeared
The house groans with weariness

Sleep bubbles up from the ground
Spores of dream sprout in the air

I imagine vending machines
descending upon my prostrate body
The giant block plunging
I become insignificant and cold

Sand tingles from a fractured hourglass
Time dissolves in raindrops
Steam rises from fresh lizard molt

The moon is a subtraction from positive darkness
The drooping wizard-hats of ghostly mushrooms

A wind that blows in all directions at once
Each speckle of dust dancing
Each snowflake ladybug reflects my face back at me
Like dirigible eyeballs teetering through the night

Silence gurgles around a corner
The windows are frosted over
My shattered spectacles are smudged
The world moves in reverse

The spirits of bees float by
Buzzing louder as their invisible wings count to infinity

Women in a line like playing cards
With each step the ripple of a thigh and sizzling hair
That carries light like gold wiring
Glass eyes in a glass bowl
Marbles swirling down a drain
And a feather that drifts from somewhere above the earth
Disappearing in snow
Among bird footprints

Grapes slide down a vine
Trees plant themselves
The moonlight is a liquid
The side of an open peach is a beach
The soft sand ringed by cold oil

A wolf sleeps in the snow and is not cold
His naked paws scratch as he dreams

The night is filled by a forest

A lighted hallway forms from darkness
I see myself floating forward in pyjamas
“Daddy, I can’t sleep. Will you tell me a story?”
My yawn lasts a long time before I say yes

I see a face that will be as tired as mine
A runt body that will grow tall
And if only the dream of life could move in reverse
Death would be a memory

Copyright © 2019 by Ljubo Popovich

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