the funeral in the funeral home
my mother thought was so nice,
gold shag carpet and low swirled-plastic ceiling,
the metal folding chairs, the plastic sculptures
on the walls, the lights that looked like fake
Egyptian funerary urns on either side of my father’s
metallic vaultlike coffin,
I dreamed that I was running away from people
who wanted to stab me with long needles,
and I ran on all fours like an animal
so I could go faster, first extending my arms
well in front of me, then propelling
my body forward and swinging my bent legs up
under me and pushing hard with them until I came
to the frozen-over San Francisco Bay,
even the waves frozen in place, and gray
sheets of ice stretching to the horizon, the beach
covered with snow, and I ran along it until I came
to a highway, like the highway
I had walked along in Missouri
to see my father’s grave. In my dream
snow covered the highway and formed
a long tunnel filled with snow stalactites;
in reality, the road was clear, though the snow was heavy
on the shoulders, where it had hardened to a crust,
and on the ground in the cemetery,
where it was smooth and deep, and where,
under a mound of dirt and frozen flower sprays, lay
my old enemy.