Iowa Writes


It is night. I am dreaming of the dead; smelling their sleep
As a thing gently embedded in the nature of the dream, a

Tender, cool, clay-like aroma: like emeralds, blinking
Unseen within earthenware urns, lining rows that stretch

Back and back into the contemporary darkness of a half-
Forgotten mind; stretching and driving as my legs once

Did, when the world was made of swing sets and we rose
To fall on a jagged earth embossed in emeralds. There

We bled until the ground grew silky with a cardinal
Sheen of neatly folded dreams, and in them: reflections

Of philosophers and rock stars and writers, and in the
Grime of their unwashed faces were our own. All that

Remains is of a different density, lesser than the original?
An afterimage. It is night. I am dreaming of the dead.

About Iowa Writes

Since 2006, Iowa Writes has featured the work of Iowa-identified writers (whether they have Iowa roots or live here now) and work published by Iowa journals and publishers on The Daily Palette. Iowa Writes features poetry, fiction, or nonfiction twice a week on the Palette.

In November of 2008, the United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organization (UNESCO) designated Iowa City, Iowa, the world's third City of Literature, making the community part of the UNESCO Creative Cities Network.

Iowa City has joined Edinburgh, Scotland and Melbourne, Australia as UNESCO Cities of Literature.

Find out more about submitting by contacting


Charles Shields writes: "In the sense that the University of Iowa is the birthplace of my idols and idioms, I consider myself, self-importantly, to be an Iowan. I am a Junior majoring in English and Art History."

This page was first displayed
on November 27, 2007

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