Dreams are said to hold secrets of the subconscious.
Messages relayed from the brain to remind us of unresolved issues.
I have a collection of recurring dreams like others collect movies.
Mostly there to provide a resting place for the dust in the air,
but sometimes they are projected in the night.
Tonight it’s the one about teeth.
It usually starts with me standing in a public space,
most likely being looked at,
until my teeth fall from my mouth
one by one until there is nothing left.
A quick google search reassures me of three things
1. this is a common dream for others as well
2. this must mean I am anxious over things out of my control, and
3. that even in our worst fears we are not unique.
I think about how people are a lot like teeth,
but I’m still learning how to lose people.
About all the ways I’ve laid myself out
as a welcome mat for whoever decides to clean their boots while passing
I am trying to remember that sometimes it’s natural for things to fall apart,
but no matter how much I think I understand what it means for someone to be gone,
I still find my tongue running over the gap.
The space that he should occupy,
that any other day he may have occupied.
His absence is slithering it’s way into my speech,
my voice stumbles around the syllables of his name
as if I must relearn what it means to live with a mouth without him in it.
Like a black hole.
Like maybe you never belonged there in the first place.
Like being six years old,
and learning for the first time
that when something you thought you needed decides that you don’t anymore,
But when you’re six,
and you lose your first tooth,
The magic of growing up makes the blood look like strawberry jelly,
instead of something to cry over.
But now I’m 19,
so the magic had worn off years ago
and the blood is just blood
and I still don’t know when to give up.
I choke on the word goodbye,
savoring the way it feels on the tip of my tongue,
like it could stay there forever,
instead of leaving my lips to meet him for the first time.
I’ve come to realize that this is less about him,
and more about the ways I tie myself to smoking houses
and refuse to leave even once the flames have began to lick at me.
More about the way I avoid commitment,
while sneaking off to hold hands with attachment as though the two aren’t related.
So I sit,
with gaps the shape of people in my mouth,
and I swallow the goodbye,
tucking it away for another time where I won’t be able to say it.