I dreamed about the war last night.
In the dream, I woke up alone at home,
your breath still deep in my lungs,
like I’d been drowning in green grapes
and had somehow washed up on my childhood comforter,
buried in teddy bear flotsam.
My dead cat was vibrating the bed with his purr.
I smoothed his soft fur, went and sat on the living room floor.
Our old wood veneer set displayed the news
but I only listened – I was busy watching my cat,
how he preened, how his back arched for my hand.
My dead mother clanged pans in the kitchen –
she was baking bread that smelled like
snowdrops blooming between daffodils.
A breeze was blowing in through the bathroom window.
I went to investigate and my cat followed me,
floating a little. I could feel my father hidden in his bedroom,
a comforting, benevolent force.
It occurred to me I might be dreaming.
I saw the spring sunlight filling the window like flies,
and I knew people were dying. I wished I’d wake up,
that I could dissolve the war with the dream.
Then the room rippled and I was awake,
family far gone, war remaining,
your breath still steady on the back of my neck.
Previously published in The PoliticalDogma Vol. 1 Issue 3, 2006.