I Woke Up From a Dream

I woke up from a dream. And every dream of you feels like a memory, that future me is looking back on. We’re not in real time, or rather our minds are not. We look as we do now, older than we did in our youth, our laughter is deeper, a depth that comes with age as the sound of carefree giggles grow an edge. But I always know it’s you before I see your face in my dreams because I can feel it in the crook of your arms as it lay across my shoulders, or around my waist. I can smell you on your gray t-shirt, the cotton soft against my skin. Dream me could have my eyes closed, and I would still know it’s you. And you always come at times when, when I don’t know if I’d need you or not if it were a choice. But if you were standing in front of me, and had the capability of reaching me, like fifteen, sixteen, seventeen, eighteen, nineteen year old us? Then I wouldn’t walk away. I’d stand there. I’d look into your eyes. And I wouldn’t walk away. I don’t know what words could pass between us now. But so many times, we didn’t need them. We spoke in silence. We spoke in the rise and fall of breaths, in a lazy afternoon. We spoke in the stillness that settles over the room, and we both just listened to one another’s thoughts in the quiet. Dream you laughs raucously like the years haven’t taken toll on who we are, or how we see the world. Your cheek has stubble that faintly scratches my chin as you tilt your had back in waves of laughter. I kiss your cheek and the prickly hair tickles my lips. We ride down an open road, in a convertible that would never suit either of us in real life, but in a dream, we know only that sleek yellow car that lets the sunshine splash our faces, and we’re the only ones on that stretch of asphalt. I don’t know where we were going, and it didn’t really matter. We never did know, anyway. Even if we tried to decide. Those decisions weren’t ours for the making. I awake with the faint distant knowledge of your haphazard curls beneath my fingers, and your whispered breath on my neck from swapping secrets. Sometimes, I like to think our younger selves sent these dreams to our older selves, to remember what it was like to be loved so innocently in a time before we were tainted by what was to come. The wise sliver of my being knows it better to relish in a false memory those first few moments upon waking, than to go digging in the past to retrieve you to occupy a space in present life.

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