Poetry: Ticket to by Jefferson Navicky

Photo credit: Sarah Yanni.

On my way to sleep I saw a door
open into a wallet and out of it
paper tickets feathered square
tucked within the leather flap—
passes to sleep’s amusement park?
Where each dream runs on an
always new rollercoaster loop un-
willing to be pinned to anything like
butterflies on routine’s corkboard.
When sleep rattles behind the eyes, I
want to get my hands on it, my nose
to the hypnogogic grindstone, my
tongue tuned to the slick stickiness
of weak association. When I die
my dreams will be collected like
meconium, my odorless tar of every-
thing olive green I’ve kept within me
spooned into an old jar kept not
far from the head, an old mountain.

Jefferson Navicky is the author of Antique Densities: Modern Parables & Other Experiments in Short Prose (2021), which was the winner of the 2022 Maine Literary Book Award in Poetry, as well as the story collection, The Paper Coast (2018) and the poetic novel, The Book of Transparencies (2018). His work has appeared in Smokelong QuarterlyElectric LiteratureFairy Tale Review, and Beloit Poetry Journal. Jefferson works as the archivist for the Maine Women Writers Collection.

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