My dead mother visits me in a dream, sitting bedside.
No longer ninety-one, she appears in a navy pants suit,
with dark, teased hair—her face, without a wrinkle.

Mom, I gasp, my grief becoming an urgency
to save her, though I realize she exists now
as ashes in my hall closet. But against all logic,

I take her warm hand, interlacing our fingers
as we did last year, walking together at the mall—
even as she fades before me, illusive as light.

I love you, I say, and bend to kiss her, but she is
returning to the wilderness of dreams, and the
morning air is cold as I wake in my bedroom, alone.