Dreams are
where once
I fought
to keep
you out.

I wake, aware
that you lie
next to me
and you aren’t
trying to hurt
me, to stifle

the very thing
that only just
begins to find
a way to
breathe air again.

Your hand presses on
my back, you whisper
“It’s me.  I’m here.”
What I hear is

the distant drop of
rain, running off the
roof, the sound of
my sobs choked back

and the unspoken truth
that when I say
I’m stronger than that
I’m really just lying.

When I sleep you can
hurt me.  Your eyes say
you won’t; your touch says
you wouldn’t dream of it.

With you I would like
to breathe freely, to feel
that there is nothing waiting
to sue for damages with
interest.  But I stay locked
up, tight as a tomb.

What I feel is
the touch of feathers
– darkling dream dying – dawning –
A raven lights, tastes,
then pecks my eyes –
a warm and grisly
last supper.  Night steals
the air, leaves scars
like stripes of talons
on my wordless hopes.

A way to
breathe air again
means I have
only to learn
that I won’t

be alone if
I cry just
a little bit.

And you  –
still there –
means you
haven’t quite,
yet, found
the means
to murder
those birds.