Sleep is never dreamless

Sleep is never dreamless, I am told.
Although the store-front's closed,
Inventory is taken as if by children
In a phantasmagoric mask shop.
They don the masks and mime
Experience in infinite combination,
On an eye-lid stage, lit by flickers
From a torch's flame,
Among mute and pregnant shadows.

Yet yolk-yellow, papier-mache suns
And hoary, chalk-white moons
Leave only smeared, half dry impressions.
The chorus of whispered murmurs
Slips past like the sheen of iridescent feathers.
And when I reach to grasp the ephemeral thread
Of the children's torch-lit, eye-lid performance,
I find only the criss-cross of footprints
In the dust of half-formed scenes.

Lee Lovejoy