I am sleeping in a bed made of magic, and I begin to dream. In the dream I am trying to put together a crew to rob a bank. I am looking for certain people, very special criminals, as I believe I can do this robbery without weapons or even the threat of violence. “I need people who can work with love,” I keep saying, “I need love criminals.” Then the dream changes, becoming dark and frightening, and I am unable to speak. I know a rather heavy secret that some people will need to know to stay alive. I want to write out this secret, but there is nothing to write with. Acting out the answer has failed, and now, one by one, these people are dying. In the end I am surrounded by piles of bodies, and I am weeping. Eventually I struggle to my feet and I start trying to find my way out. Night. The magic bed. Oh, how complex this thing called living is, even in sleep.
James Lee Jobe has been published in Manzanita, Tule Review, Pearl, and many other periodicals. His poems are also included in The Sacramento Anthology: One Hundred Poems, Jewel of the Valley: A California Anthology, and How to Be This Man: The Walter Pavlich Memorial Anthology. Jobe has authored four chapbooks, most recently What God Said When She Finally Answered Me, from Rattlesnake Press. He lives in Davis, California.