We don’t know a lot
about what happened to

the ancient Maya. Their
mysterious ruins attract

the occasional ocelot. At
Tulum, nonchalant tourists

flock, slather sun tan lotion,
peruse guidebooks. It’s been

centuries since Spanish ships
announced the first apocalypse.

Archaeologists now delve
into the Mayan collapse,

while New Age gurus await
the year 2012.

Joseph Dorazio

I do not always like the people in my dreams.
Few, likeable enough, but often low, they shrink.
Snapping at each other, they go from room to room.
Like taffy, the house grows larger as they part.
Each room, a nook or stage with drapes of red
and window bays with views of other nights.

Dreams glow and deepen into plum at night.
Never known for light or space, these dreams.
Chairs and tables mesh with rugs, red,
rabbit holes in closets, stairs that shrink
from sight until the hangers part
and floor boards rise throughout each room.

I enter one compressed triangulated room.
People flail at one another through the night,
press forward to project each other’s part.
Twisted kite strings, the people in my dreams,
followed by a square, are pressed to shrink
upon a paisley rug inflamed with red.

I push away the light. The swinging bulbs of red
compound my pace with swirling circles in each room.
The circles chill my mind and shrink.
These dreams repeat themselves each night.
By 4 a.m. in bed, I feel a grayish glow of dream.
The dream as daylight severs it apart.

I push aside the curtain, shearing it apart,
start to gather shards of plum and red.
In my periodic dream,
I move around the furniture and twist the room,
assume the costume of the night:
bold steps to move beyond the threat to shrink.

The people I don’t always want to shrink.
At times, they wish that I might part.
Some enjoy the night
but I, for one, find night’s hue well beyond the red
required for a handsome room
in the time we hold a dark dream.

Plum colored night causes us to shrink
from all our dreams. In this, I part
through walls of red, and those too close within each room.

Connie Beresin

1. The Moment

A swallow swooped down
tore you from my arms.

Geese narrowed their passage in a flock so thick
the morning sky darkened as if night had arrived early.
Gulls churred.

Wings on wing,
swirl, geese.

Tangy jet fuel.
Nose on the water’s surface.
Level landing on a blue screen.

Waiting on the wing
up to their waists.
Walking on water
shivering in coats.
Five Our Fathers, Hail Marys.

2. The Edge

Do you remember, You asked me,
when I was little and a swan swiped the half eaten banana from my hand?
I screamed – frightening you and everyone around us.

Yes, I replied. It was a harrowing scene.
You were so very little, so scared;
the swan was eye to eye with you.

Swallows skimmed the rims of my eyes this time as never before.
I will not be the same any more than you were after that day by the stream.
We thought the swan benign, but selfish and desperate
to have what it wanted when it wanted it.

Yes, You told me. But I am grown now and
in spite of the sky darkening from time to time
light shows through paper thin cracks –
at times brilliant – other times just a dim, far away.

Connie Beresin