May 2001

Maggie Dietz


Maggie Dietz is the director of the Favorite Poem Project and co-editor, with Robert Pinsky, of Americans' Favorite Poems (W.W. Norton & Company, 1999). Her work has recently appeared in Agni, Bostonia, and Slate magazine and has been featured on Poetry Daily. She lives in Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts.

Dream of Me    Click to hear in real audio

If you are the dreamer, I am what you dream
—Rainer Maria Rilke

I am just a dreamer, but you are just a dream
—Neil Young

You'll notice my face is longer, horse-like, my legs
slender as a horse's, showing through the gown
worn threadbare by my loping. The rein drags
behind, a long rope of hair, it tapers around

trees and you follow, embarking: the test.
On the banks, my breath makes a fine blue mist.
You are lost, so listen for the sound of my lungs,
like doves rustling. The mossy roots make rungs

and you climb down into the music where couples
are dancing a waltz on my back.  Each rib
makes a note when they step that redoubles
in the belly of the river beneath us, the crib

of civilization, with legged fishes, tiny
ancient seahorses. We are floating toward the dream's
destination: see the braid flung down my spine?
Follow it up, climb the knobbed ridge, lean

over, flip into my ear. The drum will glow
and beat. Until you don't know where you are,
proceed, until air is scarce, your breathing slow.
I'll wake you then, before you go too far.



Maggie Dietz: Poetry
Copyright 2001 The Cortland Review Issue 16The Cortland Review