A poem a day in April from Rutgers English PhD students and friends.

Friday, April 4, 2014

Waking: Reprise

I woke up on a bus this morning, blinking away the light, figuring out what position my body must be in if my right shoulder is pushed up against faux-leather and I’m looking at curved metal. People are definitely looking at me. How could I have let my guard down like that? When did I stop watching his reflection in the bus window? I was supposed to make sure he didn’t look at me. Where are my parents? Here I am, prostrate like a cat in the sun. I probably missed my stop. When I wake up, everything will be alright.

When I woke up I was at a friend’s house. She was fun; we joked like old times. We tried on outfits and made plans, putting off breakfast and talking to her parents, making the night last. When my parents arrived to pick me up, my father was angry at my mom. I was supposed to come home last night so that we could get an early start on our family vacation. It was half-past noon and I wasn’t even packed. The day was lost. It was a great tragedy.

Waiting in line, I hoped that you would be there, and you were. I knew that we would both be wearing a striped shirt. I don’t know how I knew it, but I did. You were ahead of me in line. I made you turn around by staring intensely at the back of your head. You came over and grinned and hugged me. I buried my face into your inner coat. I meant to ask you about the last time I saw you. I meant to ask you if that really happened. Were you there? My dreams are so real sometimes, I can’t tell the difference. But that’s a silly question; of course you were there. It was so real. Sometimes I can’t remember where we left off. Sometimes I don’t know what you know. Then I remembered that you don’t have the same phone number anymore. I haven’t actually seen you in a long time.

When I woke up I saw the dark outline of a bookshelf, then a window and a fan. I wondered where I was. I wondered what time it was. I sent a message to the dream version of you, from the real me.


  1. Love this. It's so tempting to just drift off into dream logic....

  2. I've been trying to LIKE and comment on this poem all day but I've been on my phone and not logged in to RUNAPOWRIMO. I mentioned this problem I've been having in today's poem!! anyway, I loved this.