Anders Villani
In Which She Feeds Him the Universe

Somnambulist, Isabella Ronchetti

The first frost has eaten the box hedges
that delimit the agora. Of some thirty people

surveyed as they eddy from theatre
to laboratory, to classroom, to cafeteria, one

dream alone merits written scrutiny
while the rest are worse than meaningless.

Here, as told by the dreamer, a woman
whose canvas lace-ups were without laces,

is the dream: I am bent over a cauldron.
My brew spits like hot oil; I never wince. Steam

coats my face, a membranous white gauze
as on the inside of eggshell. New ingredient

for every five full turns of my spoon—a dash
of meteor dust, the entire sun, moon rocks,

nebulae, which the dark broth emulsifies.
Before long, I’ve incorporated the known universe.

I look around. There’s a table; oak, or
iron. My seated lover bangs his bowl against it.

Ladleful after ladleful leaves the cauldron
for his throat, his head tilted back, Adam’s Apple

the knuckles of a clenched fist, threatening me.
I force-feed him until everything is finished.

Promised anonymity, the respondent called
the dream, from which she woke hateful, recurrent

Anders Villani was born in Melbourne. He holds an MFA from the University of Michigan's Helen Zell Writers' Program, where he won the Delbanco Thesis Prize. In 2015, he was shortlisted in the Noel Rowe Award, for a first book of poems by an Australian Writer. He lives in Ann Arbor.

Isabella Ronchetti is an artist and writer who intentionally wears mismatched socks and taught herself to raise one eyebrow. She enjoys drawing, photography, writing poetry, and reading, and she finds inspiration in dreams, stories, shapes in the cumuli, and peculiar happenings from everyday life. Her award-winning work has appeared in numerous publications such as Diverse Voices Quarterly, The Sigh Press, Canvas Literary Journal, GREYstone, Glass Kite Anthology, Bluefire Journal, Foliate Oak Literary Journal, The Claremont Review, Poetic Power Anthology, Skipping Stones, and Celebrating Art.