Featured Poem • October 2016
When she was young, she dreamed nightly of life in the viridian woods. She never saw her reflection in the lake, but sprinted on nimble legs through thorny underbrush and over fallen giants, scents of earth in her nose. On her thirteenth birthday, she awoke to thoughts of cheesecake and Sephora. She rushed through her day at the mall and sank back into bed at ten o’clock, exhausted. Only then did she realize she didn’t recall last night’s dream. Nighttime fantasies fell flat, washed-out landscapes and shattered fragments eclipsing the vivid sagas of nocturnal youth. Sleep was time wasted. The real world swelled, life expanding into gossip and cliques and shopping, fights with parents about short skirts, boys and girls and flirtations and tears, exams and job hunting, credit and loans, chores and concerns and emotions and obligations carrying her further and further out until a good night’s sleep was six hours that went by in a blink. Her memory started going at fifty, hereditary but far too soon. The day she received a diagnosis, she cried herself to sleep in her wife’s arms and woke twelve hours later with thoughts of stardust blinking in the dark corners of her mind like fading echoes. She started to lose her keys daily and spent nine hours a night in bed. Atoms danced and collided, blossoming into galaxies at impossible speeds, leaving new planets in her head whenever she woke. She lost words on the same night they picked wax out of her newborn ears on the station. Arms held her and warm tears fell onto her face, but she could not reach back.
Lore Graham is an agender writer who lives in Massachusetts. When ze isn’t writing speculative poetry or queer romance stories, ze’s usually cooking or throwing parties. Ze loves both creating and discovering unique settings and rich worlds, and indulges that love not only through reading and writing but also through tabletop roleplaying games. You can find out more about zir at grahamlore.com.
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