It once seemed odd-
How you showed up in my dreams at least once a month as unfinished business.
I thought I had closed and sealed that lid; I remember
Standing proudly on top of it declaring, “IT’S ABOUT TIME”.
But here you are,
Smoke creeping from my ears in the morning, leaving me
Groggy in a fog of incapability and failure.
These dreams are always-
I see you in the store but hide in another aisle, kicking myself because I STILL haven’t just called
You to tell you no.
I invite you to my birthday party and regret it because you’ve gotten close to another one of my
Friends and now we are even more enmeshed.
Your mom sends me another e-mail telling me how depressed you are and somehow, even as a
A 12 year old, we all think I’m going to do something about it.
I try to seal you in after every dream but I’m running out of places to hide you and now
I see you in dustbunny corners under my desk at work
Or in the hatchback driver cutting me off on my way home
Or in the stray beauty and fortune of where I live. You
Are ten years of me and you’ve fit yourself into every crack of my life
Where I might still be messing up.
Are not unfinished business.
They are you, a tattoo under my eyelids;
To which I return again
Whenever I need a metaphor
For my shortcomings.