SADIE’S DREAM STATE by Martina Reisz Newberry

Sadie says that she dreams
just two dreams when she sleeps:
she dreams of what lit her life on fire
and of what put that fire out,
leaving dry, bare branches
and dark, burnt earth.

The high pines are so
clearly visible when a fire
races through them,
she says.

Strong winds below the canyons*
promise a fire that cleanses as
fiercely as water. My dreams

suggest that all fires eventually
burn out and take with them
the spirit who lit that fire.

If they don’t burn out, water appears,
tries the patience of flame,
suffocates and turns it into steam.

Sadie poses with a lit cigarette
between her fingers; she inhales,
then exhales a stream of smoke
which doubles back, sits like a halo
over her head, shines off her arrow-
straight hair. It is, Sadie says,

the best that smoke can do.
These are dreams of relentless
repetition and Sadie says she favors
the first dream but knows that the second dream,
made rugged by its inevitable outcome,
is patient and waits for the water to do its duty.

*R.I.P. Larry Kramer

Martina Reisz Newberry’s newest collection, BLUES FOR FRENCH ROAST WITH CHICORY is available from Deerbrook Editions. She is the author of six books. Her work has been widely published in magazines and journals in the U.S. and abroad. She lives in Los Angeles with her husband, Brian, a Media Creative.