A Dream in Which I Married the God of North Manitou
by Kiley Harrison
I awoke this morning scared
because in the dream I had just left
I knew no one.
I had been chosen to marry the god
of North Manitou because I was born
with a Petoskey stone in my hand.
We lived in a debris hut
and he wore armor woven of fish scales,
I didn’t love him at first but in the dream
I was reading a book about loving him.
I found notes he wrote for me hidden
in the sea foam and his face was bearded
and the words that he spoke seemed to come out
of the thicket surrounding his mouth.
It is odd in a dream to know no one,
What world is this I lived in?
In that world when I married him
I wore a snake headband, and my flowers
were wild and picked from an open field.
No one attended except swallows
and the small creatures we could not see
that ran beneath the dirt.
In this dream I could swim Lake Michigan’s length
twice over and not be tired.
Where was my mother? In the dream she was a raven
and was happy to let me go to that god because
he gave her bugs from his long hair.
I did not know her as my mother and could not blame her.
I lost track of the pages in my book
and lost track of not loving him.
My food was fish from the rivers and wild potatoes
and leaks, and each night we walked the islands
and looked for herbs to hang from the ceiling and dry.
Sometime between when I stopped reading the book
and when the god began to whisper
in my ear how many grains of sand
there were on the island, I woke up.
Days later I’m no longer scared
because I did not know anyone in my dream,
now I am scared because I do not know him in my life.