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Liberty Walks Naked
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JOANNE DOMINQUE DWYER

 

 

 

Joanne Dominique Dwyer is the author of the poetry collection Belle Laide, Sarabande Books.She is a recipient of a Rona Jaffe award for emerging women writers, an American Poetry Review Jerome J. Shestack prize and others. Dwyer is a facilitator for the Alzheimer’s Poetry Project and also works with teens through the Witter Bynner Foundation. Dwyer’s love for nature and outdoor adventure recently took her on a month long trekking trip in the Indian Himalayas. She resides in Northern New Mexico.

 

 

 

 

When Almonds Appear in Dreams

 

 

When almonds appear in dreams
they foreshadow a temporary sorrow.

 

Like old dresses and orthopedic shoes boxed
in the cellar like crates of pressed cider,

 

or a bell rung in the late afternoon.

 

Like the old folks fed at 5 pm, drugged at 6 pm –
made as still as empty bird baths.

 

They say if a woman dreams of a glass jar of jellybeans
she will narrowly escape electrocution.

 

And if she dreams her hair is the shade of the sky
in a summer storm, her child will be stillborn.

 

Intimacy means profoundly interior –
countless sets of keys and cryptic codes.

 

Jogging along the train tracks, I come across
mammoth yellow machinery with colossal tires

 

and a dark-skinned surveyor, but I
cannot decode his or her gender.

 

I often don’t care if my facts are verifiable
or if the winter hens lay less eggs.

 

And they say a gapped-tooth man will die of tuberculosis.
And do not lean a broom against a bed.

 

And a wart on your neck means you will be hanged.
Superstitions are said to be irrational,

 

but I say beware of a man who posts his IQ
on his dating profile and boasts

 

of never having swung at a piñata.
It’s so much more sagacious to date a boardwalk

 

sketch artist who sits in a portable chair
in paint-stained jeans and flip-flops,

 

and though he is severely allergic to the sea air
and to paper cuts, he renders all of his subjects

 

with either the exaggerated symmetry   
of sex kittens or prizefighters.

 

 

©2017 Joanne Dominique Dwyer

 

 

Author Links

 

'Beaded Baby Moccasins' at Poetry Foundation

'Love Poem: Flat Out' in The Cortland Review

Conversation with Joanne Dominque Dwyer in Identity Theory

 

 

 

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