Dean Interrupts My Dream

Anders Carlson-Wee

Summer 2017

Oconto, Wisconsin

Hey fella, you asleep? I hate to wake
you up like this, but I gotta warn you:
the heater’s broke. Darn thing went limp
outta nowhere and it’s gonna get cold.
I can’t tell you how cold it’s gonna get
but it’s gonna get cold. You best do
like me and walk some of the night out,
pace the house and get your engine
revved up and that. And if you hear
what sounds like a ruckus upstairs,
don’t worry: that’s just me hoppin for heat.
I hop as high as a man can get and land
in a full squat and do that on repeat.
I know it sounds loony but it works,
pumps the blood good enough to give God
a boner. Shadowboxin works too
if you pretend the fight’s real and deal
the guy grief, but that takes imagination
while hoppin is a sure thing. And buddy,
if you get so you’re just too darn cold––
and I mean balls-turned-into-stones cold––
don’t suffer it. You let me know
and we’ll see what body heat can do.

Anders Carlson-Wee is a 2015 NEA Fellow and the author of Dynamite, winner of the Frost Place Chapbook Prize. His work has appeared in Ploughshares, New England Review, The Sun, Narrative, Best New Poets, and The Best American Nonrequired Reading.

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