I had a dream. I was at a party.
The lights were low, all the flooring made of glass
Everyone around me were previous versions of myself
Someone flashed a camera on my face
I didn’t want my picture taken
Because I was ashamed of what I might not yet be.
I told the 5-year old me there was no one waiting for her
And nothing bad would happen if she stopped waking up at midnight
To check the dark corners of her room.
I warned the eleven-year old me not to cut her hair
Or pout her lips at the school photographer.
The 16-year old mes had bruises, corsets, and striped thighs
They were dancing alone, crying, and yelling that they were feeling great
I gave them three shots of vodka each
And the number to the hospital emergency clinic.
I then turned to my incarnation from last year,
And opened my mouth to tell her
“the answer is yes”
Then a squint-eyed boy grabbed my arm
And dragged me out of the apartment.
Under the bright urine-colored streetlight, in the tapping November rain,
He lit a blunt, turned to me and told me he was God
And that I had exceeded my limit of legal intervention
He said I was losing time
Trying to redeem the already forgiven.
I cried while he pulled a deep breath, the sweet, prickling scent of marijuana filling the dampened air,
I cried because I didn’t want to go back
Nor did I have time to be anyone’s Jesus
I cried while he just stood there and got high
And when I woke up, the fog had been lifted from my eyes.
It’s not that I don’t care, not that I don’t wish for a
Redemption, to try again
It’s just that I have grown sick and tired of this place
That I’ll never be anything but incomplete,
Leaving behind unmade beds, hair-filled sinks and broken hearts,
Signs of a loss
Not yet gained.