Sharon McCutcheon

I had a dream about you last night

in which I felt your presence

wring the air from my lungs

like wet laundry.

Your smile was so tight

that it split my heart

right down the middle.


I tumbled backwards onto the bed

and you fell upon me like a wave,

invisible, implacable, inchoate.

I called your name and received no answer,

but you were definitely there.


I felt as if I had touched

something forbidden inside of you,

as if your name had unleashed

something forbidden inside of me.

Against me you lie shut as a door

and I opened again and again

just to hear the creak in your bones.


I find your eyes rise into being

at the strangest times

and in each instance

another piece of my soul

is taken hostage.

If I keep breathing your air

I will forget how to breathe on my own.


When it comes to you

I don’t know what to do with myself.