Lucille Clifton’s Name Written in Stone’s Dream
written by Mathias Svalina
A girl stands beside my bed. Because I am a name, my bed is like a piece of paper, only colder. For sheets I have a layer of blades. For a pillow I have a landscape of red things. All the clocks in the city of Buffalo are burning. Do you smell the fire? I say to the girl. She opens her mouth. Her mouth is filled with flames. The flames are like a fox with closed eyes, feigning sleep, like a fox that disappears when someone says the word fox. Within the burning clocks, the flames embrace all our names. I am in flames. I do not burn. I crawl from the flames cleansed of what time has done to me. I am without guilt. Without fear. Without shame. I am the words a woman wraps around her knuckles in the dark.