A bat appears, zigzagging across
the twilight, indifferent
to its freedom, and I’m reminded
of the dream where I float
out of bed and up to the ceiling.
When I move my arms, the air
is like water, although I never try
to slip through a window into the dark.
I’m not frightened. Going outside
simply doesn’t occur to me.
Do I understand what this means?
No, the dream is enough—
the pleasure of swimming in the air
before I descend into myself,
which must be where I should be,
while from the other side
of the door my father is asking,
Haven’t you had enough fun
for one night? But it’s not
a question, and I never answer.
Lawrence Raab is the author of seven poetry collections, including What We Don’t Know About Each Other, winner of the National Poetry Series, and a finalist for the National Book Award, The Probable World, Visible Signs: New and Selected Poems, and his latest collection, The History of Forgetting, all published by Penguin. He teaches literature and writing at Williams College.