last night i dreamt that you were a shapeshifter—willow bones and origami skin. a changeling. i searched for you in rooms i knew but did not recognize, in a house that was no longer my own. finally, you were there, entirely different but i did not hesitate. i recognized your soul.
sitting quietly in the dark you didn’t call to me, only looked. i shook, then, my bones brittle and my heart like pine needles—the tinkling sound in the dark of nights, when all the tired soldiers fall down down from the branches. wind chimes. you open your arms and there i was, crawling into them again. safe. and we sat, wrapped in each other and no longer weary.
before you had to leave i asked to see your mouth, those stone teeth that i love, that you’re growing into. i wanted to know if they changed, too. and they had. but you looked at me, sturdy, and i knew it would be okay. woke up.
i’m ready to come home.
last night i dreamt that i was dying.
i searched for you desperately in a marble mansion—low ceilings and the cold burning smell of incense. i ran spirals looking for you, saw massive towers and ivory sentinels bathing in water-less pools. stood, transfixed.
only when i had reached the peak did i realize that you weren’t there. had never been, and only then did it dawn on me where you were. where you were waiting for me. i ran down and down but the ceilings began to smother me, the incense choked me. i felt pressed on all sides, crushed from within. i begged. i gasped. and i gave in, succumbed to dying—until it all pulled away: the walls and ceilings, incense smoke. my lungs.
and then i walked to you. ran to you. through the streets. found you.
i want someone to make me laugh. laugh deep down in my belly, shake my bones and rattle the dust that’s settled over my lungs from too many cigarettes. rattle the dust on my heart, the interred ashes of things i should have done better: should have smiled more, should have traced the moonlight on his chest and wiped the sunlight from his eye, should have cried more, begged, let my heart smolder and ember and burst to flames, cough up the smoke from the blazing fire within me instead of suck down the bitter clouds of too many cigarettes, too much time wasted.
i’ve done too much imagining and not much living.
let me come home,
home is wherever i’m with you
its four thirty-one am and my eyes won’t droop, my mind won’t quiet. these synapses are spitting webs of wondering: because i’m not the girl who’d ever jump and you aren’t the boy who stays. but a year an a half ago, when i crossed the pacific (my feet only ever having tasted atlantic) and woke up a day away and a world apart, your name kissed my lips. i ran through foam, kicking it away like all those broken pieces of my heart and you wrote to me, after those weeks of forced half silence, to make sure i was okay, that the water hadn’t pulled me under. you worried about the floods, but your words pulled me out from under the drowning falls of my tears and brought me closer to home than any word from my parents ever could. a year an a half ago the girl who doesn’t jump held her sister’s hand and, squeezing, fell of a bridge and into the sea. a year and a half ago the boy who doesn’t stay sat in my car in those late night/early morning hours and listened to me ramble about kangaroos and sea foam, xxxx beer and foreign constellations. a year and a half and i haven’t gone more than a handful of days without seeing you; i’ve been wearing you like skin and as autumn approaches i feel the days like an accordion stretching and waning—in a few months you’ll be gone, but only for a while.
but you’ve told me its time for you to stay, and i’m ready to jump right to where you are.
and i said, ‘what about breakfast at tiffany’s?’