JAIME SPEED

★ ★ ★ ★

POETRY

Image by Anne Nygard

Disappear to chase trains

for Nevin
& Adam

I used to dream him sweet
boy losing time
to dance my chubby arms
in expectation of song
out of rhythm with the windless prairie day
he rolls in laughter with my brother
in my dream we are always
streaked with sun
ribboned by the shadows
of the deck slats running
across the back seam of the house
years before dad tore it down
when he gutted our home
with surgical precision
the walls removed
like they were the tiny bones of fish
that could choke us later – if we weren’t careful
in my dream, the sunlight
blurs our edges
my brother slant-eyed in the distance
a yellow toy dump truck gleaming
the sun’s bright reflection
I have to squint my eyes here
when I open them, I see his whole face, round
for an instant, eyes orbiting
their celestial path inside of parentheses
in this place, the afterlife
is unspoken, only the sun bends
the beams of light and flickering shadows
of memory and future into the same dream
like these crosshatches on my palm
and then the whistle shakes
the train’s arrival into the ground, breaking
the hazy picture of my dream
and they’re both off 
down the steps and past the long garden
barefoot through the grass
and over the hill 
they disappear to chase trains 
their heartbeats still echoing in the earth
that’s how it always ends
the dream, how I wake up
the familiar rumble and howl in the night
unable to picture
his face anymore
without the help of photos 
unable to remember  
without someone else’s memories
without the help of dreams 
only to face 
the dark morn of aging 
where the magic and the trains
and the dreams have slipped away
in the stark light
of growing up without him

Jaime Speed lives, works, and plays in Saskatchewan, Canada. A fan of reading, gardening, throwing weights, and dancing badly, she has recently been published in The Rat’s Ass Review, Dear Loneliness Project, Hobo Camp Review, Anti-Heroin Chic, and OyeDrum Magazine, with work forthcoming in Psaltery & Lyre, Channel, and They Call Us along with collections by Ship Street Poetry, Gnashing Teeth Publications, White Stag Publishing, and Indie Blu(e) Publishing. Her prose poetry is forthcoming in Best Small Fictions 2021 by Sonder Press.

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