dream about transference as a reasonable excuse

the dead pigeon against your front door
is not an omen. despite the iridescent neck

in the failing light, despite the fortunecookie
of its beak open as if to speak, the gypsy eye

does not recognize you for the fraud you are.
the child drifting across the street, neatly

avoiding car and garbage truck, three matches
in each hand, one on fire, is not Ophelia

or your daughter, not drowned
or nonexistent as you step around

the dead feathers. she is someone
else's dream, a mistake

you never made. there is only
one train to your neighborhood

and you take it. you could burn the house
of your memory, but what good

would that do? you live in a small apartment
with a lock easily picked. at night, the metal

deadbolt sings so slightly off-key. and you sleep
with the covers low, birds curled against the window

maybe for heat, maybe for company. too late now, the girl
at the foot of your bed says, brimstone invitation trembling in her fist.

Marty McConnell received her MFA from Sarah Lawrence College and co-curates the flagship weekly reading series of the louderARTS Project , a New York City-based literary nonprofit. Her work has appeared in Homewrecker: An Adultery Reader, Rattapallax, Fourteen Hills, Thirteenth Moon, 2River View, Lodestar Quarterly, and Blue Fifth Review and the forthcoming Women of the Bowery anthology. (martyoutloud@gmail.com)

Boxcar Poetry Review - ISSN 1931-1761