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Sestina by Susan Tefft Fitzgerald
published in Volume 1, Issue 4 on September 15th, 1994

I'm in a dream. We are transported to a beach.
Crystal blue water rolls on soft white sand. The ocean breeze
Reggaes with gauzy curtains.  Drinks with striped umbrellas
In hand, we lean against poufy pillows talking
About our future, laughing about our past, smooth brown skin
Against smooth brown skin.  What a cliche, this dream.

I roll over, punch the pillow, relax into another dream.
We are on the wharf now, not far from the beach,
Walking hand in hand, side by side. My skin
Tingles from the sharp sea spray surfing on the breeze.
Different people, strange shops, good food keep us talking.
But, wait, now I see umbrellas.

Rows upon rows of pink frilly umbrellas
Tap dancing around me with a crescendo. Is this a dream?
I am the star of a MGM musical! Gene Kelly and I are talking
Through song. No, wait, I am dancing on the beach.
It's "South Pacific"! I'm kissing a gorgeous plantation owner
and the island breezes
Call to me and brush my skin.

Actually, artic winds chill my skin.
You commandeered the blanket. I snuggle under the umbrella
Of warmth and ride the breeze
Back to the island. No luck. What else can I dream
About? Let's go back to the beach!
Yes! No, wait, the trees are talking.

No, actually, you are talking.
"It's six o'clock" and you rub your scruffy chin against my skin.
I roll over and swim back to the beach.
I spy bronze men in speedos from underneath the umbrella.
Yes, this is reality. That other place is the dream.
You calmly rip away the blanket. I'm naked in the breeze.

That damn, cold six o'clock in the morning breeze.
"What the hell..?" I yelp and jump. "Stop talking."
You mumble. "You have the starring role in this wonderful dream."
Dream does become reality. Scruffy skin
Against chilled skin as you umbrella
The blanket over us and we settle on the beach.

A gentle breeze waltzes over my skin.
"No talking allowed." you whisper under the umbrella.
Dreams are wonderful. Life's a bitch.

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