“Dreamland Saint,” by Kathleen Winter

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Poetry by Kathleen Winter from our Winter 2017 issue.

See this saint from Dreamland slumming with us
where every limb sweats, mercury rising, fruit
baking in its bowl on the drainboard.
Polio, Ebola, and fresh new diseases in desiccated Eden,
the neighborhood a locus of explosions, our nation
now the nation of murderous event, unlicensed carrying
on on on. Unexceptional, our state of war.
How does violence vibrate in her cranium tuned
to ocean, birdsong, intricate chant in caverns
of seven-second reverberation, cathedrals of empathy
whose marriages all thrive like headland redwoods
bathed in a cycle of sunlight and fog, sunlight
and fog for centuries. Dreamland saint, appear
to our electorate in Fall, replace the suits
on news screens, fill our representatives with joy,
humble, as though they could make a durable good.

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Image: Drewes, Werner. “Dream.” Color woodcut. Smithsonian American Art Museum, New York.

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