You come to me in dreams,
and you are happy, so I am happy. Or
maybe, the other way around, but
you are tender, as
I always wished, and
I am kind, as you
You come to me in dreams
between the sea-green tiles
in a childhood bathroom
and the fragrant cedar bedding of the
hamster who died when I was ten.
I find you in the space vacated
by linear time, or maybe the converse:
You find me.
Once I insisted on the waking
world, as if I knew
what was real.
Now I reject orthodoxy. I
pledge allegiance to love where
love appears and reckon loss as
the grace that restores you to me.
I am no longer sure:
Did I dream you awake?
Or now, asleep?
I do not insist on certainty.
We share waking stories for a time:
We collaborate, and then not.
We see, gradually or
with sudden violence, the
bright distinction between
substance and shadow.
And leave — or stay —
leaden with foreclosed possibility.
Night unshackles what day constrains.
When you come to me in dreams,
the perfect pink blossoms of
the crabapple tree in a long-ago yard
litter the verdant summer grass.
My dead father buys pectin and makes
jelly of the fruit, the kitchen
suffused with sweet steam.
The hamster recovers.
And there you are again,
smiling and mysterious:
Tender, as I always wished, while
I am kind, as you once imagined.
Every possibility liberated, when
you come to me in dreams.