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The Poor Worm

Salvatore Difalco

These things you write, are they dreams? you ask, out of the blue, one pretty morning over coffee on the deck. You’re wearing blue. The sky is blue. The veins of my hands are greenish-blue as I pause my scribbling and grip the bone white mug. I guess you can call them dreams, I say, if we loosely apply the term. What do I mean by this? I’m not sure. Do I see a correlation between stories and dreams? Perhaps, though one is not the other. After a weighted pause, you ask if you are in these so-called dreams of mine. This reddens my ears. But I’m not prepared to come clean yet about that detail, though perhaps my reticence gives away the game. I have many things to consider, many variables to ponder. Look, I say, if it’s a privacy issue, I assure you, I’d never reveal anything personal—well, anything that could be traced back to you. You scrunch your nose. I don’t know if that’s good or bad, you say. And I don’t know how comfortable I feel about being in your dreams. I stare into your clabbered blue eyes. Listen, I say, my subconscious mind avoids the picturesque. Its episodes come dragged or dripped. The definition is often poor, the contrasts and so on. And they are never lewd. I don’t want you to feel invaded in any way. Rearing your head, you say, I do. I do feel invaded. I smile weakly but have nothing to add. A feisty robin lights on a fencepost. Red velvet breast. One enjoys writing that down and looking at it long after the robin has flitted off. The early bird catches the worm, I muse aloud. Your face drops. What is it? I ask. Think of the poor worm, you say. I do think of the poor worm, I say. I do not think of it.

Salvatore Difalco has work forthcoming in RHINO Poetry, Third Wednesday, and Heavy Feather Review. He lives in Toronto.

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