A Story That Starts With Waking Up From a Dream
You wake up and have no idea
where you are. You’re in a room
you’ve never been in before.
You get up and open the door,
walk out into another room
somehow even less familiar
than the one you just left. You go
through the rest of your life like that—
room after room, day after day,
meeting new person after new person—
everything all new. You wake up
and your nose is covered in hair.
You check yourself over, head to toe,
and that’s it, only your nose.
You think about how maybe it would be better
if it were all of you. All hair. You never wake up
as a cockroach. You wake up
and you’re naked, standing in front
of a classroom. You wake up
and you’re the complete opposite
of who you were before. What exactly
that means is up to you. You never wake up
at 6 a.m., the sound of your alarm playing
“I Got You, Babe.” You wake up
to an incredible, uncanny, overwhelming,
debilitating sense of déjà vu. You wake up
and feel like you’re falling. Down
an elevator shaft, out of an airplane,
from a bridge, through a great empty expanse
of nothing, down down down… You wake up
with a glowing feeling of euphoria. It feels
like you’re floating. You take your hand
and try to slide it between your body
and your mattress, and startle
when it does so freely. You are in fact
floating. On purpose? Is this something
you can control? How long will it last?
As soon as your brain forms the question,
your body falls back to reality. You don’t wake up.
That was it. Did you expect something else?
Tragedy of a Lady
by Annika Gangopadhyay
... here is the art / of women reborn: / you genuflecting, / them drinking to a husband / you have long poisoned ...
by Daniel DeRock
... Adrian practiced his acceptance speech in the shower ...