Brian Turner

Last Night’s Dream

for Ishtar
In the dream her breasts become confused in my lips. I shoot an azimuth to her navel
while her fingertips touch me with concussions, as if explosives rang through the nerves
of my body, as if I am strung with wire, a huge receiver of UHF radio transmissions,
frequency hopping with our tongues as we kiss and I slide into her with a sound of
flashbang grenades that make her eyes cloud over in smoke from the heat of it.
In the dream she kisses Arabic into my skin and I understand every word of it, I
transcribe it backwards into cuneiform and stone, I rename the arteries and veins for
every river and wadi from Dohuk north to Basra south, I feel for this geography of
pleasure, my tongue is a marker that writes even in the rain, even in salt and sweat, and I
write with it now, over every curve and turn of her body.
In the dream our orgasm destroys a nation, it leaves thermite and gunpowder in the air
above us, a crackling of radio static as we kiss on, long into the denouement of skin and
fire, where medevac helicopters fly in the dark caverns of our lungs in search of the
wounded, and we breathe them one to another, a deep rotorwash of pain and bandages.

Brian Turner
Poem, copyright © 2005 by Brian Turner
Appearing on From the Fishouse with permission
Audio file, copyright © 2005, From the Fishouse