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I dreamed last night that you came back to me.

Drunk, of course.
Though still fine and smooth as ever.
Beautiful. Like dawn and ice-cream all at once.

First you raged.
Spit-soaked curses launched across dream kitchen.
Arms and hands all Pets Gone Wild,
you tried to escape your monologue.

Then sad.
You followed me into dream living room.
Filled with couches.
Low light, dark, dark dreaming carpet.
You sat, your feet curled underneath you,
wrapped your hands around my wrist
explained why things just
So much.
On and on. A rum-fumed litany of suck.

Then playful.
Tease me. Punch my shoulder. Pull my hair a little.
Dark eyes grinning up
from under dark and swaying bangs.
(You know. Even drunk you know.)
Your touch is poison. Feeds hot guilt,
cold heart kept intact just in case

(in case, oh Jesus just in case
you ever really, ever sober, ever thoughtful, ever wanting,
ever ever ever just come back).

Finally, sleepy.
Curled up beneath my arm.
I lift-half-carry you to dream bed.
You purr and slide beneath the sheet.
Beg, in that small (sweet poison) voice,
"Stay with me. Please."

I lay down next to you.
Cheek to shoulder.
Breath to neck.
Arm thrown carelessly
(fuck... of course carelessly)
across my chest.

Knees pressed to my hip.
I remember this.
This skin, these bones.
The summer, dried grass smell of your hair.
The bruised-purple tint
of your eyelids as your breathing
slows. Your long fingers. Your breasts
against my ribs.

You sleep. In my dream.
I'm awake, there.
For hours. Feeling. Waiting. Broken.

I dreamed last night that you came back to me.

Which doubly stabs...
since you were never with me
outside dreams.

And now I know the dream of losing you,
and of your drunk, doesn't-count, fingers-crossed return.
To add to the mix

of how you never, ever, really
loved me
at all
for real.


I blog irregularly at TinkerX. I'm also on Twitter. @andyhavens, go figure.

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The following comments are for "Betrayal"
by andyhavens

Never gone
Ahh, those bittersweet dreams. I can relate.

Excellent write, Andy.

( Posted by: Flonigus [Member] On: April 24, 2011 )

Perchance to dream
An unusually stream-of-thought-y poem for you… but the parts which seem very crafted belie those that seem uncrafted: I think you chose the style to depict jump-cut dream-scenes? It works very well, in general. The terse scene-setting (I’d drop ‘though’ from line 3 and ‘neath’ from ‘under’ to help with this), and in particular the use of ‘dream kitchen’/’dream living room’, which perfectly conjures up the way familiar rooms are often recognizable, yet not quite right, in dreams.

The first 3 stanzas are particularly strong. The shift in tense after that threw me. I’m not sure why you did that, at least, not at that point. At ‘Knees pressed to my hip/I remember this’… that, I think, is the place for shift in tense. I’m not a fan of ‘cold heart’ and ‘sweet poison’. But I like the ending. Not so much for the clever twist as for the accuracy: the half-perceived irrationality of dreams.

Isn’t it weird how our subconscious does this stuff? When happily coupled, I’m very seldom prey to either erotic or romantic dreams; when single, my sleeping mind goes into overdrive. And it tends to dredge up boyfriends from a decade ago, or to plunge platonic colleagues into inappropriate circumstances…in short, to get all hallucinatory with whatever I’m absolutely /not/ dwelling on when awake. Your poem makes me think perhaps this observation is not mine alone?

( Posted by: mobiussoul [Member] On: April 24, 2011 )

Thanks for reading, guys
@John -- thanks! Glad you enjoyed.

@Mobius -- Yeah... this was a weird one for me. It's based on an actual dream I had, and, as such, is a bit... funkier?... than my usual themes. I usually come to my topics very much consciously. Having one rise up out of the unconscious is kinda difficult.

Good points on the word choice and on the tense... I think you're right; I should stick with past tense throughout. Will make that shift on the next draft.

I'm not sure, really, if this gives the subject the oomph I'm looking for. It's too direct, frankly, which is also not how I usually come at my topics/themes. But it was one of the most powerful dreams I've ever had, and I had to get something down.

Very weird... To dream about someone coming back to me who had never been with me in the first place. But in the dream, she had. The dream-me remembered us being together, and remembered the break up, and then was upset that this was another false-return; a teasing, drunk reminder that, really, it's over. That she just needed another night of comfort, not a renewed beginning. The dream-me was angry and hopeful and sad and wishing that, this time, she'd really come back for real.

Which, when I woke up, was very odd... To dream so vividly about losing something and not quite regaining it when you'd never had it... yoiks. Odd, funky shite.

Thanks again for reading. Good to see you back here.

( Posted by: andyhavens [Member] On: April 24, 2011 )

members only
I have joined your club. You speak truth, and so realistic, so lyrical.

( Posted by: Teflon [Member] On: May 21, 2011 )

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