“I dream in chocolate,” she said.
Never failing an opportunity to be obtuse,
he cut his eyes quickly to meet hers and asked,
“What do you mean?”
“Mean? What do you mean,
what do I mean? Chocolate.
It’s what I dream about.
That’s all I mean,” she said.
Strangely, Freud, the Apocalypse, Gabriel,
Just War Theory, Mother Mary and T. S. Eliot flashed
through his imagination as he considered some
useless bit of information he picked
-up, from where he had no idea, that
chocolate and semen had identical enzymes,
and why he should think
of any of that at just this moment,
he had no clue.
“Shit,” he said, “sometimes
I wish I didn’t think.” Looking
at the dining-room table and the three
jigsaw puzzles mixed up just
to make the process interesting, he muttered,
“Who am I kidding--it’s not any more
challenging. After all,
one’s an Hasidic Jew kissing
a baby, one’s an impressionist
landscape, and one’s a Grandfather
-clock with a yellow kitten sitting
in the window, the pendulum just
above his head. Those pieces’ll all snap
together neater than a brandy poured
on a mundanely tedious October evening.”
He laughed at himself, shaking his head.
“What’s so funny?” she asked, “Are you laughing at me?”
“No,” he said, “no, no. Not laughing at you at all.”
“Well then, what, exactly, are you laughing at?”
He looked over at his writing table, piled
with books dog-eared, opened,
cigarette ashes coating the right-hand side,
the light filtering through Venetian blinds,
particles of dust dancing in the light like galaxies
floating down to rest finally on his books;
he browsed the titles and chuckled
to himself even his mutterings were meta-fictional.
“Myself, my darling,” he said,
“Myself. Have you ever known
of anything so helplessly amusing?”
She had to agree with that. Everything
about him was funny, even his
tragically innate seriousness, and she laughed,
“Well, we all have our quirks. Mine is chocolate.”