Lady Macbeth: (reading label) rinse, repeat.

night in tunisia

you were dreaming, you were dreaming, we were dreaming,
your arm hung down between the bed and the wall,
pinched down there, hanged in darkness,
you were dreaming about a civil war in Canada

(which seems impossible
—we love this place for that,
that no-one would throw on a grey sweater and run out into the night,
screaming for the blood of René Levesque—
but dreams don’t care about those things, they just happen)

Patti Smith was in your dream,
hovered over north america like an angel of the pre-dawn,
the tawny angel of 1946,
and while you played with a rebel band of plastic toy hockey players,
preparing an ambush at the 2nd Battle of Flin-Flon,
Patti floated overhead like a new weather pattern,
blessing you, blessing us both with her prayer,
“Tropicán, Tropicán, we are all
Tropicán,”

her enormous t-shirt was the night sky,
and you knew her breasts, her beautiful Patti Smith breasts
were under there somewhere in the clouds,
so you asked her a question, any question,
just so she’d look down on you, she’d favour you,
maybe tear off that shirt celestial
and reveal the night sky of moonstarsblack and Patti’s breasts,
holygod what a night that would be,
so you said, “where does this pain come from, this pain,
this pain in my arm?”

but she looked down
on your pile of plastic toys spread out on the faded,
vast plain of a geography-class globe,
hedged between the lumpy hills of northern ontario
and the heaving spires of the rockies,
and she scowled, coming out of her trance, her state of grace,
looked at you,
at the tired, worn globe,
at the plastic hockey sticks pointed up to where her breasts should be
and as the clouds parted it was only a night, it is night,
“we are all Tropicán,” she said again,
her mouth,
you saw it then,
was full of extra rows of teeth
you knew what she meant, i think,
because i heard you ask in the dream “which tropic is that, Patti?”
her mouth opened and the teeth fell out,
white, crooked stars and black, bloody teeth,
“Tropic of Fucker,” she whispered,
troubling the ‘f’ sound with her toothless lips
as the blood and bits fell to the cheap, cardboard surface of the globe,
“Tropic of Shit.”

and just when you tried to plead with her,
to apologise and come to some sort of pleading absolve
—your arm hanging there in the darkness between the bed and the wall—
unknown to you,
your arm was a menace in its fitful dream,
terrorizing a spider and her family,
and when the arm got too close, too close to her web
–a farm field of sorts—
the spider bit the giant
and killed the dream.

– Clay McCann

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