I think I know what he would say
about the dream I had last night
in which my nose was lopped off in a sword fight,
leaving me to wander the streets of eighteenth-century Paris
with a kind of hideous blowhole in the middle of my face.
But what would be his thoughts
about the small, brown leather cone
which I purchased from a gnome of a sales clerk
at a shop called The House of a Thousand Noses
then attached to my face with goose grease?
And how would he interpret
my stopping before every gilded mirror
to admire the fine grain, the tiny brass studs,
always turning to show my best profile,
my clean-shaved chin slightly raised?
Surely, narcissism fails to capture
my love of posing in these many rooms,
sometimes with an open window behind me
showing the blue sky which would be obliterated
by the Eiffel Tower in only a couple of hundred years.
—Billy Collins, “Freud”
Art Credit Hans Richter, “Dreams That Money Can Buy,” 1946.