An Investigation of Zhuangzi’s Dream

An Investigation of Zhuangzi’s Dream

You dreamt heavily Saturday,
and woke up Sunday with an old question:
Am I yet the butterfly sleeping on the temple bell,
dreaming he’s a man? The day’s
events threw you off with their suggestions.
A young priest, dozing at the wheel,
rear-ended you at a red light.
He was scared and sorry,
but the police officer on duty was so jolly
the jokes rolled right off his tongue.
A circle of people in the town center
locked arms around a fountain
and then redispersed into the crowd all at once.
A bird sang from a soapbox
and its song got stuck in your throat.
The small invitation to your brother’s funeral
slipped in the wind
and landed on a dandelion.
There was no more honey in all the house.
You wrapped yourself tightly in your sheets like a cocoon.
When sleep lowered its bell over your head
you could hear a ringing
somewhere far away
and somewhere very near.

by Ryan Dowling