“I remember the bed just floating there” is how Phil Kaye started his ‘repetition’ poem. I remember pausing the youtube video after he ended his masterpiece. I remember burying my feelings under 3 blankets and 4 hours of binge watching spoken word poetry. I do not remember the dreams I could have had.
I remember the set of nightmares that visited religiously like the downstairs neighbor tired of how loud my heart pounds at late evenings. I remember, very clearly, how they went. I do not remember if I have written them down.
Dream one: he peels my freckles off my skin; he says he needs them because his coffee is too light. I scream while he calmly adds pints of the cheeks I inherited from my mother’s melatonin and the sun’s intensity to his coffee. He says I can never be as quiet as the girl who managed to sneak into his ribcage and build herself a bedroom.
Dream two: We are standing in the great library of Alexandria. He pulls the sea from underneath my feet and stuffs it into his back pocket. He says he needs it because he is tired of drowning himself in uncertainty. I start to cry and he says: Aries is the god of war, and women born under this sign confuse war for love.
I remember the mole on his left ear growing bigger in my nightmares without me ever watering it. I remember he smelled of tangerine trees and broken records. I do not remember if his face looked like the man I almost fell in love with last winter, or my father.
I remember the first time I saw my father after he came back from Ukraine. I remember his brown leather shoes that oozed of old spice cologne and neat scotch. I remember his hardly worn pair of glasses and the pieces of me they never cared to read. I remember the wrinkles that seemed newer than his glasses slowly colonizing his hands... the hands that never held me as tight as the dress I wore to my school prom hoping it would catch my ex’s attention.
I remember wearing a dress that day, I hate wearing dresses. I remember it had a floral print reminiscent of the season that I was named after hoping maybe it would remind him I’m part him. I remember realizing he will never remember. And now, I sit on a carpet of autumnal leafs as crisp as my tied tongue and as dead as my fears, trying to turn my love for him into more than just a memory.