Dreams of Kay Ryan

From time to time, poets make cameo appearances in my dreams. Last night it was Kay Ryan. We were at a party together, and I was trying to show her how to undress and change your outfit in the middle of a public space without anyone noticing.  The trick is to move very naturally, at an unhurried pace, and just keep interacting normally with the environment while you slip into something else. Unfortunately, I was wearing a starched shirt that crinkled like wrapping paper when it moved, which ruined the process. Kay was understanding.

I asked her if she ever felt trapped by her own style, if she ever got tired of writing “Kay Ryan poems.”  She didn’t seem to have a problem with that. I woke up with this poem:


How is it that
we recognize
with our sense
and with our eyes
that tall dogs,
short dogs,
fat and thin,
are all one species
from within?

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