I had a dream
that sprung legs and ran ahead into the closet in front of my bed;
the door swung shut behind it, and I fell asleep with my eyes wide
watching bright fantasies that were not mine to see.
The sun flushed into my room and swallowed me up in its light
sometime between me playing with my eyelashes and mumbling
to the walls. I leaped toward the closet door and tugged it open.
It was empty.
I had a dream that my closet was calling to me like a giant
with curious white eyes; I woke up asleep on its floor
with my blanket tucked into my arms. I stayed in there
all day and refused to leave even when the father
called for me. I wanted to hear her heart beat.
I had an idea,
but it only came weeks later when I sat down to dinner.
The parents avoided eye contact; I was the child who slept
on the closet floor, the one with the silly mind.
The idea was simple. I lied in bed as still as the moonlight,
my mind hummed like the creatures swarming beneath me.
When the lights were out, I was on my own and I preferred it
this way. The large wooden desk, some stuffed animals
and a lamp leaned against the closet door. I fell asleep
watching his big white eyes gloss over.
The dream was there in the little palm of my hand
like a piece of fire or a start of a fight at school
or a ferocious beast. I saw it pushing through my chest
in the early hours of morning, and I caught it
in mid leap. I ran to the bathroom and locked
the door, falling to my knees on the tile.
I inched open my hands and saw it for what
it is at 4 am at age seven. Maybe too childish to know
something like this, but I managed it any ways
in my young arms. They were heavy with the weight
of such a secret but I pushed it back into my chest
and understood what was going on
inside of me,
why it lived there,
and why it was mine to keep.