by Sarah Webb

Each morning she looks at him sleeping,
watches his slow breath in and out,
as a mother might watch her child in his bed.
He has bad dreams
--or rather, he wakes into bad dreams
and he takes her with him
into nightmare landscape:
falling from heights, battling chitinous monsters.

With a word he can drag her
stone down into bluegrey depths,
a word like slut,
which he says calmly over breakfast,
his first word of the day,
and she knows what kind of dream
she will move in
this space of daylight.

She watches him at daybreak.
If he smiles at her,
if he talks over eggs and toast,
then she will live today in her dream,
the one that says
this is how it really is,
happy together.

Copyright 2023 by Red River Review. First Rights Reserved. All other rights revert to the authors.
No work may be reproduced or republished without the express written consent of the author.