In the dream, I’m with my grown daughter

in a huge fitting room

in a multi-leveled store, with scaffolding

for clothing racks. She is trying on a white dress.

I tell her I want one like it.


When the page of the dream turns into a mall, we pass a Disney store.

In the window, a display from Frozen, a snowman costume, white

except for an orange nose.

I say I want that too, try on the headpiece, discover

it’s made to fit my grandchild.


What is all this longing?


I think of a film I saw at an art museum in the city,

every actor on the silent screen a brown- or black-skinned prisoner

wearing white. Stark and blinding white like an LED glow against

the bones of winter trees. But wait I say. Why not go back to the dream


in the mall, in the store, in the dressing room

where the scaffolding has fallen by now and the dress is missing.

My daughter digs in the rubble, finds another one, this time white

with red buttons.

This dress will never do.

What I want is pure white, lace and cotton,

warm from the iron.


Once my dead mother came to the foot of my bed.

She was shrouded in white.

I followed her through the back of the closet

onto a dark wooded path

to a bridge only she could cross.


I reached out after her.

It was like reaching for the moon.