Small Talk

"Do you dream in color," she asked, "or black and white?"

"Color, mostly. You must be a Libra?" I replied, but the safe words never left my mouth. In green eyes I saw compassion, intelligence. And, I think, she might be lonely too. This one will understand.

I dream in concrete and steel
Six thousand tons, balanced
On the point of an abstraction.
Breathing in the wind and sun
I carry the liveload
Who cry out at the vista
But care not for my grace.

I dream in pure symbolic logic
And silent simmering silicon.
Inhospitable beauty of vacuum
And soft sand from the sea,
Recipe for electronic stew.

I dream of cool water
Drifting slowly then faster
tripping then falling and faster
slicing through blades then free
laughing at sunshine and turbines.
Whining I spin, ribbons of silver
Draped across mountains
Where tourists cluck "ugly"
Believing that power
Comes from their walls.

In the desert I walk in circles
On iron wheels and below me
The land sprouts green leaves.

In my dreams people fly
On riveted aluminum wings.
Flexing and straining I play
With the clouds and the man
In my aisle seat doesn't know
We are made to do this.

I dream on paper and slate
And phosphor and waking to build
I dream with my hands
In copper and stone,
In leather or wood,
My dreams all come true.

"Oh," she said. "Black and white."