Duality of Dreams

Words and Artwork by Jaime (she/her), 22 QLD

I awake with tears eroding
A home into the crevices of my eyes.
My arms feel like they
Are missing an extension of themselves.
My heart is vacant,
And echoes like a hollowed out tree trunk.
As I look around my bedroom,
Sleep still crusted into my eyelashes,
And moonbeams pooling through the blinds,
I ask myself,
Who was I, who am I now?

I was dreaming that
I had a baby.
She had soft skin, and big eyes,
And she was sort of ugly in that fresh newborn way
Where they’re just a smudge of
An artwork,
Yet to take form.
But she was beautiful to me.

And as I held this little girl in my arms,
I felt a new person sit at the helm
Of my ship.
She/I/us is self-sacrificial,
Would gladly guide this boat into the
Rocks if it meant this small child
Would stay dry.
She had dreams I think,
But they are cloudy,
And irrelevant
Once she/I/us felt the heartbeat of this
Tiny baby girl.

Her hands were so little
And cries were so loud,
And needs were so demanding.
My feet ached, my heart swollen,
And bags clung to my eyes like barnacles,
But it felt like easy work when a tiny curled
Hand would wrap around my finger.

But then I woke up.
I tried to close my eyes again,
Pull the dream back to me,
Cling to the lifeline.
But sleep did not wrap its arms around me again.
So I laid under my blankets,
With tears in my eyes.
I spend the day with
The phantom limb of motherhood
Itching at my heart.

The next night
When I dream,
I am sailing the world,
Licking the blood from a sword’s edge.
I stare into the eye of lightning storms,
And make a home in their thunder.
My skin is salty, hair is long and frizzy
And my guts are burning with desire,
A blue flame licking up my insides,
Raging for the adventure, the chaos,
The romance, the cruelty.
All my soul longs for
Is the horizon’s edge.

When I wake, it is morning.
Tears are not in my eyes,
My heart does not feel full nor empty,
But it itches to both give and receive more.
It does not feel ready to tip the scales
and give all the pieces of herself,
or take all she can to complete the puzzle of herself.
Now I know of the dreams
That consumed the person at the
Helm of my ship,
Of the duality of this person’s life,
A stranger to both versions of herself,
A mother, a conqueror, a protector, a pirate.
I know she must ask herself:
Who was I, who am I now?

When I dream again tonight,
I will try and conjure up
A world where both exist,
Because as I sit here,
Awake in this world,
I cannot think of any reason for why
She/I/us cannot have both.

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