Mary Stone Dockery


I woke up to write about apology
from the view of a dreamer
with fish tails and black water
and front yard wrecks, tornado debris.
Yet, here, the dreamer is more
like a planner: We will do this, yes,
it will happen.

Dreamers accomplish, finish,
rather than flail along some broken plane
of light, bleeding and lonely.
In my home, apology is shaped
like a fork, most days, its points
nudging skin, twisting.
The dreamer finds the scent
of apology cucumber-melon, leather.
Apology is bathing together,
washing each other's backs
with a loofa, holding on
with only suds between you.
Even the dreamers can't plan
for this — for the fingers
lit like sparklers crackling over skin,
the prick and snap of desire.
We wait to find traces
later in the dark
when the memory of apology
lights onto our skin
and dissipates into neon, then black,
blinking into the mattress.

Mary Stone Dockery is the author of One Last Cigarette (Honest Publishing, forthcoming), and Mythology of Touch. Her poetry and prose has appeared or is forthcoming in I-70 Review, Arts & Letters, Slipstream, Noctua Review, and other fine journals. She is the co-editor of Stone Highway Review and currently lives, writes, and teaches in St. Joseph, MO.

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