Photography © Glenn Bowie


Dream Woman

I dream about a woman I’ve never met.
When I wake up to pee, I come back
to find her smirking in a different room.
She’s sick in a way she won’t explain.
There’s wind howling outside the way
it did on that lonesome house on a hill,
rain trying to tear its way in. We said
it was witches scratching their fingernails
on the bricks, but it’s old white men
trying to kill people over hairdos. I learned
that a long time ago. But maybe if I knew
the secrets of cats—which are mostly
just what they’ve killed recently and where
it’s hidden. It’s not every night this
woman needs my help, but won’t say
how. I’ve trained my whole life for this.
She’s getting prettier, the older I get.
I wish I could say the same. Her eyes
are an exhale, softer than they used to be,
and her lopsided smile is warmer, tinged
with the pain of waiting but also hope.
If I don’t meet her soon, I’m afraid neither
of us will be able to help the other. I’m sure
this is me being selfish, somehow. I’m sure
I’m doing something wrong.


Raised on a rice and catfish farm in eastern Arkansas, CL Bledsoe is the author of more than twenty-five books, including the poetry collections Riceland, Trashcans in Love, Grief Bacon, and his newest, The Bottle Episode, as well as his latest novels Goodbye, Mr. Lonely and The Saviors. Bledsoe co-writes the humor blog How to Even, with Michael Gushue. He’s been published in hundreds of journals, newspapers, and websites that you’ve probably never heard of. Bledsoe lives in northern Virginia with his daughter.

Glenn Bowie is a published poet, lyricist and photographer from the Boston area. He also owns and operates an elevator company that supplies custom-built elevators for clients from New England to Hollywood. Author of two poetry and photograph collections (Under the Weight of Whispers and Into the Thorns and Honey) on Big Table Publishing, he donates all profits from his books to various charities for the homeless and local animal shelters.