In her own words...

"Bridge, Moon, Professor, Shoes"


Slept dreams, they say, take just a few seconds
no matter how long they are. Or how far

I walked on that bridge of spider silk
with the moon beside me like a friend.

Her light trapped us in a radiance of bliss so
pure, hours weren't hours, or minutes minutes

as we passed my old lecture hall, its professor
stopping in the middle of his question: "Can

someone here tell me — ?" to stare at us as we
floated along, my insouciance blurring a little

with a sense of guilt. Had I a right to this?
Could such joy be mine for free? If I had

a purpose — say, shoes. Find shoes. On earth
we don't walk on air — not like this windless

void riding underfoot, its force backing me
into the immensities, their black nowhere.

Such bouncing's tiresome. Where's the bliss?
The moon reaches for my arm. I jerk away.

What a pie-face she is in her chalky pallor.
Why did that professor turn his back on me?

Oh, if I find shoes (size seven) they won't be
on too soon to get me home, home    home.


About this work

“Bridge, Moon, Professor, Shoes” was first published in Dorothea Tanning's book, A Table of Content: Poems, New York: Graywolf Press, 2004, p. 8, and may not be reprinted without the publisher's permission.  

An excerpt from this poem was included in "Poet’s Choice by Edward Hirsch (review of A Table of Content),” Washington Post, July 4, 2004, p. BW12, and in Poet’s Choice, Edward Hirsch, ed. New York: Harcourt, Inc., 2006, p. 301.