Before Oblivion

Last night I felt open

The plaster ceiling of my bedroom was missing, gaping up at the speckled ink sky

Like lying on the bottom of a jar.

Tucked up to my chin, submerged in night,

with breezes of all moods seeping into and through me,

I thought about you—

(Just you, alone, not

with me).

I wondered what swims in your warm liquid thoughts before sleep

I know what’s in mine:

hummed melodies, the afterglow of an orange lamp,

a dense fog of responsibilities and stress,

untimely reminders of horror movies, and a vague longing to be kissed.

There has always been some bubbles of thought for friends and kin, I think,

but for years there has been a place in the back of my head for you.

A place where I imagine what you see in the sleepy blinks before darkness.

I try in vain for a vague but solid certainty—

the mere color of your nascent dreams, or

the texture of them.

I guess a golden hazel hue

But if I told you, would you even realize that it’s the color that rings your pupils?

Even with my best speculation,

Your mind remains frayed static

that eventually aches my eyes and ears.

I can only wish that you occasionally see me (or, more realistically, a likeness of me)

Just as a likeness of you

Lurks in the dimming haze before oblivion.

-M.L.

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