Wake-up Call

Graduate from darkness
in three simple flashes.
Source unknown.
It wakes you up regardless.

It reminds you of a camera,
three shots you took
of yourself while
you slept much like a samara’s descent.

And you watch, examine the stills
of someone familiar plunging,
disconnected from the remembering.
It’s not the falling, but the landing that kills.


Okay, so to call this a dream poem is a bit of a cop-out. I was lying in bed just this morning. I had woken up and remembered having a pleasant dream, but I was still exhausted. Naturally, the memory slipped through my fingers. So I lied there trying to recall it when I at last decided it was too early and went back to sleep. But I made sure to turn on my writing playlist in the background first and enter a good headspace for dreaming before I dozed off. It’s usually effective in creating at least a somewhat decent dream. And I’m sure it was, but when I woke up, I didn’t make it to my notepad in time before I had already forgotten it.

Slightly frustrated with myself, I decided to try to sleep a third time, for no other reason than to prove to myself that I had been making a conscious effort. Which I now realize is ironic given that a dream is more of a conversation with my subconscious. Anyway, on the third try, I didn’t totally enter REM sleep at all. Instead, I closed my eyes and drifted off only for about ten minutes. It was utter darkness until I saw three rapid flashes. Something that probably should’ve alarmed me but it didn’t. I just thought to myself “There’s absolutely nothing in this room that could’ve produced those flashes of light.” And even my borderline hypochondriac self thought nothing of it along the lines of something wrong with my head.

So I sat up and tried to figure out what it might mean. And the only word I had to work with was “camera.” Not much to go on. Too vague to write about. But when I stepped outside this morning to find that the seasons had abruptly changed overnight, I had a word to pair with it: “fall.” As for the rest of it, I think it speaks for itself, but I may as way slap one more thought here. I think it’s a kind of reflection on my perceived procrastination through much of summer. Sort of like a wake-up call.

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