d o n a l d    d u n b a r


They Should Be Born with a Sense of Finality

Bigger, Bigger Animals, with More Instincts

They Should Be Born with a Sense of Finality


He opens his eyelids in the middle of the dream.


Something like a girl
is in his home

& she is come from the lake of rain
with her nipples staining her shirt
& fancy pebbles in her pocket.

She is absolutely covered in make-up
She is cooing to herself
She is drying, slowly,

& as she dries she watches a photo of a shore
& on it all the folded lines of the tide
& on top of it a mosquito.


He is allowed to sleep through his hunger.

In the dream, he hunts an animal
over the hill smeared with grass
over the dust untouched by water

& is more naked than an animal

& is singing a song of doubt.

When he opens his eyelids & is still asleep
a mosquito flies out.

He catches it
to feed to his daughter.


There is a lake outside
of mosquito eggs, & rain.

There is a doll in his belly
with an animalís name.

A pebble in his navel
A utensil in his throat

A photo of nothing heíll ever see
is in his lung, & he tries to imagine it
each time he breathes.


She takes a utensil from his throat
She removes a doll from where it was hid

She is allowed to mistake herself
& so return from death.

She is allowed to grow claws
& climb a hill & roll on the dust

& to crawl into the air above his face
which in his dream is breath.


Something like an animal
is in his hands, dreaming

about being born of man.

Something like a mosquito
is in his veins, singing to

itself the only song it knows

in the only voice itís got.


Bigger, Bigger Animals, with More Instincts


Iím trying to be kind.
I imagine a person but not a name.
I imagine a pale & believable star.

Whoís not naked & cold
& careful with memories?
Itís fakeóthe real one has colors.

I remembered the smell of blankets.


When I think of myself, I think of myself on tv.
Like any large animal. Warm, dead food.
& when I watch tv, I think of everybody. Yesterday:

a man with an absolutely great beard
hunched over an excited woman on a

street with her legs exploded off & a
liver on some sneakers next to her.


& when Iíd want to be so happy
& when Iíd want to get
pared away & be
a spinal cord on a shelf,

a smaller crumb,

or an outline of cogs & clean, scentless transfer,

or familiar to everyone—


The day comes wild, its flashers & shouts in tow,
kicks the walls in, dribbles its spit
on the desert, itches its sore, flits a pigeon through the window,
& noticing a quiet moment, pockets it—

& consolation comes small with the day.
Like a toy attached to what it imitates.

All I want to do is sleep, be nice.


—I want my cells to do the work
& the necks to quit tangling in the line & the
quick-fucked sockets, pulled-apart muscle, fingered tissue

...maybe itís pistons, maybe itís waste—
I remembered liking voices & bells.

...maybe the body expands, is stuck in the air like a roof,
in the lake like a mist—


DONALD DUNBAR grew up in the Midwest, then received an MFA from the University of Arizona.

I S S N     1 5 5 9 - 6 5 6 7