Waking

Melting Men (detail), Nele Azevedo
Melting Men (detail), Nele Azevedo

Illustration: “Melting Men” (detail), by Nele Azevedo

We held hands in my dream, in the waking sleepwalk I call living. We held hands and you explained the lightness in your touch — you were dead. It seemed so natural, I accepted it. I said, of course. You were dead and I was sleepwalking.

We loved so naturally, without demands or needs, I could not see an end. It is easy, especially in the cold of winter, to just survive, to forget what a need is or how to ask for it.

It was only when the earth began to thaw, warm, that I saw the barrenness of us.
 

Heather Bourbeau’s fiction and poetry have been published in 100 Word Story, Alaska Quarterly Review, Cleaver, Eleven Eleven, Francis Ford Coppola Winery, The Cardiff Review, and The Stockholm Review of Literature. She is the Chapman University Flash Fiction winner and has twice been nominated for a Pushcart Prize. Her work has been featured in several anthologies, including America, We Call Your Name: Poems of Resistance and Resilience (Sixteen Rivers Press), and Respect: Poems About Detroit Music (Michigan State University Press). She has worked with various UN agencies, including the UN peacekeeping mission in Liberia and UNICEF Somalia.

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