the smell of lemon lysol lingers on the sidewalk
like a smoker, huddled in the air that bites
worse than it barks.
antiseptic and full of the promise of
the kind of clean we’ll never be.
i push my hair back away from my eyes and realize
i haven’t had a nightmare in months and for a moment i
ponder the chance that i’ve got it all wrong,
that this place is inside my head,
that this all isn’t real.
but i don’t follow that thought down the darkened, rutted road to where
i keep all of my memories of you shut behind our old glass door we jammed closed
with a thick, jagged piece of cardboard. in the dead
of winter, it would howl open to the midnight wind
and we’d laugh.
but i know this is real because there are no smells in my dreams,
and rarely any sound. people don’t speak as much as
i just know what they’re bound to say.
so i know this is real.
this place is too loud and nothing makes sense,
not even in dream logic.
so i’ve got it exactly right, just
didn’t quite understand until this moment that
my nightmares now happen while i’m awake.