"Dream (after Lermontov)" by Daniel Bosch

A weekly poem, read by the author.
Dec. 6 2011 6:52 AM

"Dream (after Lermontov)"

Click the arrow on the audio player to hear Daniel Bosch read this poem. You can also download the recording or subscribe to Slate's Poetry Podcast on iTunes.

I dreamt I took a bullet to the chest
And fell in a poppy field in Kandahar,
And poppy blood soaked through my Kevlar vest,
And with each final breath, I called out, "Sarge?"

No one responded. Nobody called my name.
And when I tried to use my GPS
Full-skirted poppy blooms leaned in to frame
A dream more powerful than opiates:

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I dreamt that on a wall were posted pics
Of me and my fiancée smoking hash
In my backyard, back home. A thousand clicks
On "Like" and "Share" had caused a system crash,

And my fiancée scrolled by pixel light
But was not looking at her iPad's screen,
For its wet crystals gave her second sight—
A dream, wherein my dream became her dream—

And she could see the poppy field my chest
Muddied with blood, the dust of Kandahar,
And, already pinned to my Kevlar vest,
Blood-wet, a Purple Heart and Silver Star.

For Slate's poetry submission guidelines, click here. Click here to visit Robert Pinsky's Favorite Poem Project site. Click here for an archive of discussions about poems with Robert Pinsky in "the Fray," Slate's reader forum.

Daniel Bosch teaches expository writing at Tufts University and is a poetry critic for the Artsfuse.

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