My dreams are all cliches. Even in my sleep, I know this- & the man reels back, as if scorned, puts a hand to his heart and says- repetition, my girl, is the consequence of truth.

I read somewhere that the gesture- hand over heart- nudges the speaker to be genuine.

The word genuine comes from the Latin word for knee. Roman fathers would acknowledge their paternity over a newborn by placing it on their lap, marking it true, I made you.

Creation made real, authentic through ownership. You can’t escape it: we’ve all needed someone to validate our existence, at some point or another.

In the dream, the man’s face flickers, once, twice, as if he’s unsure of whether he exists. You’re flickering, I say, He looks so hurt that I turn away from him.

In the dream, I crack open a fortune cookie, slip out a paper that reads- Spend your days forgetting what you don’t know.

An old man comes up to me, lays a wrinkled hand on my shoulder. He never looks me in the eye, only a little to my left, as if perpetually waiting for someone who would never come to him.

Easy to unknow something, he says. His voice is higher than it should have been.

It’s the forgetting that’s the problem.

To wear yourself, your skin, the self, like a pair of old, broken glasses, cranked up on your wrinkled forehead as you wander around asking, have you seen my glasses honey? I could have sworn I used them just a second ago.

These are old tricks, but who can say they’re not good ones?

Photo by Andreas Haslinger on Unsplash

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