The Lyric Dream Project: Dream 16

Of the House Burning in the Background of an Obscure Family Polaroid (1)

I don’t dream about these figures
though I used to, it’s the stations
I dream about now, naturally they’re
harder for dreams to burn up,
town-name station platforms,
the thousand thousand houses
I’ve passed on the commuter rail.
This is called windowing, I heard once,
when clicked-over things
that shouldn’t be in photographs
show up anyway. And
the one house burning
I see only here,
in a background of a small family reunion,
the ones with grudges uninvited, unpictured.
No evidence of this fire
anywhere in the Googled public record.
And in the stations I use in the mornings
another missing-face poster
appears every few weeks,
like a corporation’s favorite employee,
monarch of some arbitrary month.

Burning House

Michael Tyrell is the author of the poetry collection The Wanted and has published poems in many magazines, including recent issues of Fogged Clarity, The New Republic, and The Iowa Review. With Julia Spicher Kasdorf, he edited the anthology Broken Land: Poems of Brooklyn.