Swimming in the Air

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.

About Lawrence Raab:
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.