I wake early to a poem about a poem within a dream about a dream. I read between the lines, every drop of punctuation, like a good writer. I return to the bed with sleeping beauty lying on her side, the covers thrown slightly over in a fit of heat. I turn up the fan to cool the room and drown out the noise of knowing too much. I haven’t dreamed in weeks. I fall asleep with all that knowing, and gently wake to a dream…

…A young girl, familiar and fast, running in a field of sunflowers. A woman appears, pushing a bike and walking next to the girl. They are having a serious conversation. Their slow pace and long faces give them away. A house at the end of the field, half-empty, furnished for one. A couple arguing, yelling. The woman knowing someone is waiting for her outside, and then someone appears, walking up the steps and into the chaos. The woman sees her and gives the signal, so she leaves the house, passing the baggage by the door, and waits in the tall grass of the field. Then she sees the woman run from the house. A furious bike ride, a getaway car with handlebars on which the lover sits. Several crashes. They give in. Or do they give up?

They are surrounded by water, puddles, marshes, water tanks, water water everywhere but no where to swim. The woman jumps into the open water tank and turns the over-sized spigot like a steering wheel, as if she’s trying to steer her life in one direction or another but can’t decide which way to turn. Water gushes at her and she disappears under the water. The lover waits. And waits. And waits. Knowing the woman will surface when she’s ready…

…I wake to the noise of the alarm, or was I falling asleep this time, from a long, fitful wake? I think of how detailed the dream was, how I could see the stitching in the luggage by the door…

Then I remember all the times she tried to hand me her bags, and it is clear that she is not ready to claim her baggage. And I am no longer willing to carry it for her.

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