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I dreamed buildings were exploding
all over the old city,
a powerful djinn had gotten loose,
or there might’ve been an alien invasion,
something about underground dogs
turning the tide,
and us cowering in cavernous burrows,
Mark denied that canids were fossorial,
you misunderstood,
so someone explained polysyllabically,
something was chasing us,
we were getting away,
so I knew it wasn’t a dream,
then I woke up,
home in bed with you,
your body rising with each slow breath,
huge things rimmed with colored lights
were settling out of the sky,
dogs were howling,
I pinched myself,
it hurt.

David C. Kopaska-Merkel won the 2006 Rhysling Award for a collaboration with Kendall Evans, edits Dreams & Nightmares magazine, and has edited Star*Line and several Rhysling anthologies. His poems have appeared in Asimov’s, Strange Horizons, and elsewhere. A collection, Some Disassembly Required, winner of the 2023 Elgin Award, is available from him at
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