Nothing Happens Unless First a Dream by Scott Silsbe

for Stefanie & Meghan

It’s the end of the meal and I really need to get going.
A summer storm’s brewing, and I need to drive home
to get ready for company. I’m lingering though, not
wanting to leave, not ready to say goodbye to friends.

Stefanie says she’s spending the summer in Michigan
and asks me if I’m going to be up there anytime soon.
Meghan’s just come back from a conference and she
tells me about the weird workshop experience she had.
I’m sitting next to a rambunctious toddler who keeps
poking me with his chopsticks and gets a little scared
when I jokingly tell him in a monster voice to quit it.
You can see it in his eyes—that monster is frightening.

Isn’t it odd, and kind of crazy, but wonderful though
that we all ended up here, in this same room together?
Maybe that’s a trite observation. I can’t help but feel
it though. The world spins and scatters us in Detroit,
Pittsburgh, Kalamazoo, Greensburg, Black Mountain.
We walk past each other as strangers dozens of times.
But when we look back on that, it feels like a dream.

Before I leave the restaurant, we break open cookies.
Meghan tells us about her collection of paper fortunes,
how she keeps them all stashed away in a box. When I
show her what mine says, she goes, “That’s the best.”

Scott.Silsbe2
Scott Silsbe was born in Detroit. He now lives in Pittsburgh, where he writes, makes music, and works as a bookseller. His poems have appeared in numerous periodicals including Lilliput Review, Nerve Cowboy, and Chiron Review. He is the author of Unattended Fire (Six Gallery Press, 2012), The River Underneath the City (Low Ghost Press, 2013), and the forthcoming collection Muskrat Friday Dinner (White Gorilla Press, 2017).
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