In an attempt to teach you how to dream
I mistakenly sleep with you.
You say that nighttime sucks the light from inside of you,
and there are phantoms in your room, exploring
only when the yellow wallpaper fades to black.
Twists of paisley like nerve endings. The polka dots:
thoughts drifting in and out of themselves.
In my dream a spider eviscerates an ant,
sips the yellow eggs from inside of it.
A girl recommends that I brush myself off
unless I like getting bitten.
In the morning I realize that you have more experience than I do;
you dreamed of a tattoo I let you get,
ink spider-webbed your breasts into a world-map.
Sitting in pillows next to me
you try to point out where your hometown was
but mistakenly take my eyes
somewhere far south of Seattle.
I try to write a poem for you
about what the spider webs across my skin.
But you are an artist
and the lines appear to you diagonally,
in shades of what they are and what they aren’t —
The way things look
before they’ve been written at all.