Wednesday, July 4, 2012

How You Know It’s a Nightmare

How You Know It’s a Nightmare

You cannot stop forgetting,
but every minute, you remember
you are forgetting. You are letting
them all down. You were trying
to go to class, to feed your dog,
to call your friend. What were
you just doing.

You need to run. You need
to scream. But your energy
is gone. Your voice can’t
climb up your throat.

You are late. The sidewalk
gives you stray kittens,
abandoned toddlers to collect
and distribute. You do not
know how to prioritize.

You never learned how
to drive this kind of car,
all the instructions in German
and a handbrake and knobs
in the dash.

You need to save
whoever you love most.
Even when you save them,
you aren’t safe.
No one is.


  1. "Your voice can't climb up your throat". Love that! Who hasn't had this kind of dream? I used to dream that I was late for class, hadn't attended since the first week, hadn't studied, needed to take a final exam that day and couldn't find the right room!

  2. Finally! A poem of yours in which I love something more than the closure. My gold medal goes to Stanza 3. Stanza 4 would be tied with 3 for top honors, but the foreign gear knobs and handbrake--unwelcoming as they are--just don't quite have the evocative power of lateness, kids, and even kittens, which I don't love the way I'm supposed to, or the way I love puppies, which should be illegal in advertising, by the way, along with that first E-trade kid in the crib.

  3. More seriously, and after reading Fireblossom, isn't it sad that school is such a common source of nightmare? I don't like that, but there's no denying it.

  4. Good one Hannah. You must be able to read my dreams! The lateness anxiety is always there in my dreams.

  5. The mood here is eerie and a nightmare!

  6. I hate the ones where my legs feel like a flamingo on acid and I can't walk. Last night I dreamt I had to steam clean the carpet in every office of a high-rise. Talk about hard to shake.

  7. I laughed, but hate the feeling of all that...


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