The movers have arrived, terrified of books.
Maybe spooked by the bird feeder on its side,
spilled champagne coupe of a sodden god,
abandoned at the curb with a mattress,

as if someone outgrew sleep. The last snow
retreats into the earth to wait us out, or does it?
We can’t be sure, swim lesson registration is full.
Raise the window enough to let in

the present tense: where are the cowards now?
In the park, they pull the tarp off the carousel.
It turns out our dreams don’t change much.
A purple elephant chases a pink seahorse in circles,

four white stallions pull an empty chariot
to the spot where even the youngest know to wait.



Dobby Gibson is the author of Polar, which won the Alice James Award, Skirmish (Graywolf), and It Becomes You (Graywolf), which was shortlisted for the Believer Poetry Award. All three titles were finalists for the Minnesota Book Award. His work has appeared in American Poets, American Poetry Review, Conduit, Denver Quarterly, Fence, Gulf Coast, Iowa Review, jubilat, New England Review, and Ploughshares, among other journals. Poems have been anthologized in Good Poems, American Places (Viking), Lit From Inside (Alice James), From the Fishouse (Persea), and The New Census (Rescue Press). He’s received fellowships from the Lannan Foundation, the McKnight Foundation, the Jerome Foundation, and the Minnesota State Arts Board. He most recently served as visiting associate professor at the University of Texas at Austin.