Getting Older

Getting older, I find I don’t get
freaked out too much by the interior anymore.

If I have a dream, for instance,
of killing a policeman with a pair of pruning shears,

or having sex with my dead brother,
—and I mean after he is dead—

it doesn’t make me feel in need of therapy.
It doesn’t make me afraid

of falling asleep again tonight,
or worry that other drivers stopped in traffic,

glancing over at my car, will recognize the profile
of someone who ought to be in jail.

A dream like that? I just look at it
as if it was an octopus

in a big glass jar of formaldehyde
on a shelf in a laboratory

of some biologist in France.
its long green tentacles

float dreamily around,
like hair. It glows

and changes. There is nothing
more common than abnormality.

Knowing that as a fact,
in case you were wondering,

that’s what getting older is good for.

By Tony Hoagland