After Père Lachaise

In a lucid dream I was in Père Lachaise at night with all the curtains drawn on death and life and there I saw improbably a baby rhinoceros disappearing into a headstone. Later, without need of flight or buses overnight or channel tunnels not yet made I was drinking beer with you in a London pub, a booth with padded seats and crisps and coasters that we’d picked to pieces to take pot shots at our drinks. This was before the IRA took your David and you were forced to re-carve him from the cold stone of memory and in this dream you were somehow still the plucky girl I knew in school and at all those teenage parties. The cold was always closing in from the sea in our small town with its blind unsealed roads leading nowhere. It led to so much more than we expected like bomb blasts that should mean nothing but the distant sadness of others and strange ideologies mulled over in a pub then dismissed. What’s awaiting school kids as they sit in Maths and tangle with geometry while passing notes to friends? Let’s hope it’s not the fallen building of their dreams the concrete crumbled, the mangled metal grid and cable reinforcement lying naked and ashamed to have boasted. In the pub with you after Père Lachaise still knowing of the dream and how your life was derailed, I asked you what it was you wanted. What can’t I have? you said. Just then the baby rhino reappeared and the dream slipped from me.

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