American Life in Poetry

Some­times ​“dream poems” give an account of the strange rev­e­la­tions of our sub­con­scious, and some­times, like here, the ​“dream poem” is the poem of wish­es and hope, express­ing a fan­ta­sy of a cer­tain long­ing. A.D. Lau­ren-Abunas­sar​’s poem, ​“Dream in Which My Body Is a Snow Storm,” imag­ines a world in which the ​“bad” out­comes are upend­ed by a kind of mag­i­cal hope; and here we have a les­son in the inno­cent plea­sure of wish­ing for the good by the force of imagining.

Dream in Which My Body Is a Snow Storm

and doesn’t make anyone cold. If I fell I would fall

in state-shaped flakes. One for every place my body

lingered. One for every little bit of light I stole

and kept. No cars startless. No tangled up roadways. Neck

becoming mountain of drift; foot becoming fierce kicking

eddies. Heat would not melt me. Hands would not help

me undo. Blanketing softly. Whimsy not pretend.

Dream in which my body is a snowstorm and the storm says

a purpose in falling.