fourth street

so okay it's not creative, so it's not an unworn sweater. but it's true.  i dreamt of the boy who died this year, cliche i know. he was twenty-two when it happened and my first kiss at eleven. in december of 96' we snuck into manhattan on the F train. our parents never found out. no one ever found out. so fine, i dreamt about the first boy whose lips touched mine; dead now, i guess, his lips somewhere, his soul somewhere else. pieces scattered? i don't know. i'm not religious.

in the dream i shook his shoulders. his eyes were big and wet and he was fidgeting, occupied with something that i could probably never fathom.
who are you now, is the question i asked him again and again.
 "i need you to tell me who it is you are now."
years were driving by as i asked, the answer i couldn't even squint to see.
the things we are made of. these things we are made of.
he looked at the floor, which was white, maybe snow, i thought, maybe not. probably not. light poured our of every crevice, but still things seemed smooth despite the holes. i begged him, on my knees, "what are you now."
"i'm not what i was," he told me. i'm not what i was. what i was.
i remembered his hair and his hands and his really long eyelashes. the dream boys hands were identical, i still held them, "you are what you were," i said, "i can feel it. here." here.

i don't remember how we parted but i know it was clear i wasn't sure what had just happened, not really. i don't know how we parted but the world had long fallen, which is the thing about dreaming, or maybe the thing about being like me. "i'm not what i was." falling is a constant; body parts, heart strings, words, thoughts, wine glasses, hope.
the world is a flimsy thing, a crinkly tin foil thing you should never sink your teeth into or stare at for too long. in my dreams i call out but no one ever answers.
in dreams i live on coffee and whiskey, there are silk underwear and record players, a rug that is white, maybe snow, maybe not. probably not.

and yeah, it's trite, a worn-out conventional thing, the dream ghost, but it's no 60's orange juice commercial, it's no valentines day rose.
he died in his sleep on a sunday and there's nothing cliche about that. i wonder if his mouth was a little open, a steady sleep breath, when i woke up i thought of those breaths pausing, and running away. i never fell back asleep. i hope he was dreaming of record players and girls in silk underwear, i hope he is a little of what he was.

1 comment:

wiredwriter said...

This left me completely speechless. Except to say this.