Dreams

Grayscale Photo of White Flowers

I think I lose people every time I wake up.

Sometimes people ask me if I am a morning person, and I am quick to assure them that I am not. The rest I keep to myself.  It is a strange thing to explain.

Here is what I do not tell them: the night haunts me with melancholic whimsy. Daytime plucks me away from the middle of a task; the details of my dream fast fading, leaving only the knowledge that something needed to be done, someone needed to be saved, and I had not the time to complete it.

I wonder if they—wherever they exist—wish for my return on every falling star. 

I lay in bed, sleepy-eyed and heavy, left with a faint impression of emotions that no longer fit in place.  Desires no longer clear.  Lives no longer lived.  I have been many things, most of which I no longer recall.

The early hours hold a strange loss for people and places that I have loved and forgot.  Perhaps that is why the words morning and mourning feel the same on my tongue. Bones and muscle remember what my memory does not. 

Sometimes, I manage to hold on to a moment before it fades.  It gleams in my hands like a fragment of stained glass; beautiful, but missing its context, its story.  Still, I gather them, like a collection of seashells empty of their inhibitors.  They hold memories only I could possibly know. 

I wonder about the people I knew when I was asleep.

Perhaps I will cross paths with them again, in another place, another time.  I might still see them, even if I do not recognize their face.  Even if I do not remember the connection we once had. I do not think they are forever gone.  Perhaps they will reappear in poetry, in games of make-believe, in the little stories I tell.  They could be in every imaginary friend that has grabbed my hand promising adventure. 

What if they broke through to find me, their heart pounding inside a cage of bones at the sound of my surprised voice, perhaps swallowing against a lump in their throat as I say ‘Oh, hello love.  Have we met?’

What if . . . I never really lose them?

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