Nautilus

Poem by Midge Goldberg

Only this morning on the weight machine—

arms crossed, bent forward—does the dream come back,

a dream about a dream about my dad:

I hugged him, wondering if my arms would go

right through, but he was real, and then I woke

—inside the dream—and he had disappeared.

Push back against the bar by pushing feet.

Arch back, extend the spine, return, repeat.

Then there he was again, another mirrored

image—we hugged and walked, and as I spoke,

I woke, he’d gone again—a domino

of loss. I stop pushing against the pad

and fold inward, holding my own arms, slack,

and yet the weight still presses down, unseen.