in the dream, I speak to my father when we are both almost thirty.
here, he is drinking a white russian & smiling.
I know I'm not supposed to understand, I say, but I want to.
his mouth becomes the eye of a storm
& the silence becomes a scab ripping open.
did I think it would be better, to know?
in the dream, I do not watch him leave. I am focused on the angle of the sunlight
streaming through kitchen windows, the exact angle,
where precisely it split the marble countertop into light & shadow,
into before he left and after, picturing how it might have lit up our eyes had
he left one hour earlier, or later.
in the dream, I watch my mother crumble onto a king-size mattress
& cry large, silent sobs that shake her small frame.
I can't touch her but I want to. I want to hold her in my arms
& cradle her the same way she cradled my sister & I when
we were young. as I watch, she disintegrates & pieces herself back
together again. it is an unbearable art.
in the dream, there is an afterlife, & my father & I are both there in some wispy form.
when we meet, we speak of apple trees & surrender our weapons.
we forgive the other for the wall that was built, for not being strong enough
to speak when it could have saved us
Emily Adams-Aucoin is an emerging poet who lives in South Louisiana.