I never used to remember what happened in my dreams,

Or dwell on them when I awoke.

But lately, the images within them have become

More vivid and disturbing

Than ever before.

Suddenly, I am back in relationships with bad boyfriends

Who I’ve forgotten both love me and hate me.

I even fall for their charms again and cry when they leave.

My father lives and smiles like nothing is wrong,

But I awake every morning with him gone.

In my dreams, he is alive and well then falls ill again,

And again, and again.

Each night,

He dies a second time,

a third and a fourth,

And I am forced to relive that horrible moment,

That painful silence that comes with death.

I’ll awake forgetting the words he said and cry again like

The wound is new.

I’ll fumble between conscious and unconscious in a surface dream

And I’ll hear myself speak the names of the people I’ve left;

As if, in a way, to savour their names one last time.

I’ll call out for my mom

When my dreams become too scary and just too much,

But awake remembering that she is four towns and a bridge away.

I once used sleep to flee from reality,

Now my dreams are worse than my waking life.

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