American Life in Poetry: Dream in Which My Body Is a Snow Storm

Kwame Dawes. Courtesy photo.

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
By A.D. Lauren-Abunassar

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.

American Life in Poetry does not accept unsolicited manuscripts. It is made possible by The Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine. It is also supported by the Department of English at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. Poem copyright ©2020 by A. D. Lauren-Abunassar, “Dream in Which My Body Is a Snow Storm” from Nimrod International Journal, Fall/Winter, 2020. Poem reprinted by permission of the author and the publisher. Introduction copyright ©2021 by The Poetry Foundation. The introduction’s author, Kwame Dawes, is George W. Holmes Professor of English and Glenna Luschei Editor of Prairie Schooner at the University of Nebraska.