If I and You and We Inside The Lab of Incurable Dreams
by Tom Holmes

If I and you and we
beside the curfew phone
should tie our bathrobes in a row

and hang them from a country star,
if I and you and we could pull
with all our nesting energies,

then we and you and I could fend
against the morning’s daily shots,
then our shriveling breasts might swell,

and the powdered milk within them
might liquefy and overflow,
and the phone may ring with Arthur

or mother or father
talking from the other side,
then never will we deliver

our babies, whom we’d never see
or hold or name in any way,
then I and you and we

would keep this night out past its term
and the baby scoopers away
from morning and The Lab.

IMAGE: “Kindergarten Robes” by Jim Dine (1983).

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: This poem is part of a series of poems about adoption, mainly the imagining of my birth mother and father, and the poems tends toward the surreal, as it’s surreal to not know where I came from. The current title for this manuscript is The Book of Incurable Dreams.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Tom Holmes is the founding editor of Redactions: Poetry & Poetics, and author of seven collections of poetry, most recently The Cave, which won The Bitter Oleander Press Library of Poetry Book Award for 2013. His writings about wine, poetry book reviews, and poetry can be found at his blog, The Line Break: thelinebreak.wordpress.com. Follow him on Twitter: @TheLineBreak.

Author photo by Max Mcacpherson (Brockport, NY, 2010).