Dot Dreams of Austin Again

by Erin Elizabeth Smith

In her Austin the streets consume
themselves where the river ends
and 6th begins. Dot is always taking
someone here, looking for the Alamo
with its beer bucket specials and all
the live Showgirls you can eat. She dreams it
this time like a Vegas she hasn’t seen–
him at a hightop where she knows
he will be, and her older,
heavier with a kind of happiness
she doesn’t understood. In this dream,
she is overalls and new mint, a brash swing of hips
a story she is never drunk enough
to tell. Here he doesn’t love her, but forgives
their trespasses–Dot in New Orleans,
four martinis deep, pressed against brick
with a man all fairy tale and button-up.
Him in a London apartment, unzipping call
girls in bed, pressing “Record’
in that black memory he rewinds.
Dot only remembers because an ex-pat
looked so much like him on the news,
and she thought, for a moment,
of how she used to love–
an inventory of music he never played,
a fireplace that could not start,
the cat he left her with,
who years later sleeps like a flower
in the lap of someone she now loves.