If a child asked for an egg,
would you give him a scorpion?—from Luke 11:12

He was in my dream last night. I won’t say again.
It has been some time. But enough to say,
last night he was in my dream, to any of four friends
and they know how it eclipses the days.

He was there in the dream: silent, posturing,
obscene, making me lie. Like a bramble
he spread speculative feelers into my life
and waited, patient, invisible in plain sight.

But follow it down the years, down twenty years,
all the way to the root. Then tell the loves I lost
(their gentle voices shake me out of bad dreams),
tell them why I needed sanctuary

at twenty-nine. Explain why I woke afraid.
But not off course, now. Not ever again.