Recently I reread and fixed up an old poem I wrote. It’s called IOU.
I am yearning for love in it. I am painting a picture of my future lover and I, and of the feelings I hoped to experience with them.
And then it happened months later. For a short time in summer, I remembered what it was like to breathe deeply, to paint with words, and how it felt to forget time existed.
When I look back on this poem and think of the months that followed, it’s almost unsettling how closely I predicted that future. Right down to the vinyl booths. I am a sucker for breakfast dates and nostalgia. I wish I could predict the future so clearly once more.
I started writing this with the intention of talking about my reoccurring nightmares:
Most nights, my dreams end with a reenactment of my assault. Sometimes I am the victim and sometimes it is a sister. It is always the same person. Lately, I’ve been fighting it off. I yell and scream in my dream, I confront this person and call out everyone turning a blind eye to the abuse.
I wake up and refuse to go back to sleep until something else occupies my mind. I have to convince myself that my family is fine. That I am not supposed to “Save them.” I think it’s my guilt at living in a different city than them creeping in.
Sometimes I’m back in my bedroom I shared with my sister. My mom has convinced me to move back home and it's dirty. It’s so so cluttered and I try to clean it and nothing happens. I realize clutter has a huge impact on my mental health but I don’t always have it in me to stay neat. I get so distracted.
I think that if bad things like this nightmare can reoccur, then maybe the good things can too. That leaving myself open to any possibility is a good practice. I am glad that there will always be writing. There will always be words that I can paint with better than any other medium.