Dream # 1: I was back in Peace Corps training
in an unknown Mideast country
but all of us trainees were pushing fifty
sucking at the tit of the Third World

as if it was a fountain of youth.
The turbaned Peace Corps trainer
said, “In this country you have to get by
without maps, but there is wireless.”

Dream #2. I lost my way again.
I was at a drug dealer’s ranch
in the Sierra Madre Occidental
where the guidebooks tell you

don’t even think about going.
I was given both an AR-15 and an AK
For self-defense but the latter went off
like a spray hose when I picked it up

and one of the bullets hit my lover
in the teeth while she was sleeping
in the next room. Cannabis Carlos
was kind enough to airlift her

to Cornell Medical Center in Manhattan
(where I was born and Andy Warhol died)
and during her surgery
I toured the apartment building

where I spent my first five years.
I was climbing the stairwell towards
my parents’ old apartment on the 29th floor
when the alarm went off.

A cop dragged me in handcuffs
down to the office. In which Don Henley—
sporting his 70s Afro—
quoted himself. He said, “Don’t look back,

you can never look back.” And while the cop
read me my rights, I thought
to myself, That’s just another way of saying,
You can never go home again.


Dan Grossman is a freelance writer covering the arts scene in Indianapolis for NUVO Newsweekly and author of Rogue Elephants: a Novel of the Peace Corps, available as a pdf ebook for free on LULU.com.

Stairwell photo by Leon Dessez (http://commons.wikimedia.org/wiki/File%3A922-924_F_STREET_STAIRWELL%2C_SECOND_FLOOR_LANDING_-_920-926_F_Street%2C_Northwest_(Commercial_Buildings)%2C_Washington%2C_District_of_Columbia%2C_DC_HABS_DC%2CWASH%2C585-B-6.tif) via Wikimedia Commons.