Christmas, 2007 / No. 19

I dreamt of finger bones

as thick as treesnakes,

of hands that possessed

a fierce, primeval strength,

and I awoke with swollen

knuckles, as though I had

smashed them hard against stone.

But my bed was soft and my back

ached from the excess of comfort.

Each night, the dreams grew worse.

I saw, severed from their body,

the heavy, black hands

of a mountain silverback.

It felt like wires tightening

around my wrists as I slept.