I had a dream last night that we lived together.
But I couldn’t speak to you.
My mouth wouldn’t open.
My purple lungs crumpled and collapsed.
My heart stopped beating.
Except this wasn’t a dream once upon a time.
It was my life.
And we moved into a house that belonged
To a praying mantis with orange hair and three cats
And a leaky window over our bed.
And I got drunk every night
Because I was my grandmother’s
Wedding china, cracking under my own pressure.
I knew I would shatter soon,
So I didn’t stop drinking.
And then I started swallowing pills
That I never told you about.
I took a palmful of hydro and oxy and vicodin
With a bottle of wine,
And I thought I was going to die
In bed with you.
I would’ve been happy to die in a room with a kitten and you
And three cats outside the door.
I should’ve told you, but I didn’t want to be a scary story for campfires.
Instead I faced the window,
Watched the rain in the parking lot,
And you rolled over and wrapped an arm around me.
And I didn’t want to die there anymore.
So I said a prayer to the grass and the soil and every living thing
That was never GOD but always god to me,
And I didn’t die.
And I kept you up with my restless limbs
And my confused breathing
I don’t know why I never told you.
Maybe because the next night I was sober.
We wrapped up in each other like tentacled sea monsters
And I smelled your neck and kissed your tattoo and your face
And I don’t remember much else.
Except that you saved me.
And I want you to know.
That you, with your tentacles and the ink under skin and the kitten that slept between us,
Once upon a time.