Lucid Dreaming

CW content warning

Content warning for mention of eating disorders

Lucid Dreaming

We went out past meadows, the meaning of my name.

My name means gray wall, a fortress, I say.

How evocative, she says.

I’m an English major, I say.

She cups my breasts as she pulls over, and I let her steam my vowels, while it rains.

Gray/ wall / meadow / fortress describes me: melancholy notes, not dating unless someone won’t touch me for awhile, first. Then only slowly, and only with curvatures,

stilettos, and crescendos.

But she prepared college snack picnics with candles, what we could do on low budget,

And her placement meant more to me because she starved herself, collecting floral between her ribcage.

She didn’t want to but she’d dream to place a tulip near her belly button, and so she’d just concave

A little bit more, a little bit longer.


So, her spread made even more of an offering.


Starchy Ritz crackers, cellophane wrappers, sprinkles and flashlights… we took them

by the autumn, cherry blossoms of Western Plains, near great

lakes that were polluted but still siren-songed our names.


We went to the meadow at night, to look for the squirrels draped in astute, inky black.

Native to Canada, and the first time I saw one,

I thought I was lucid dreaming,

For I only knew them in gray, and amber, and tawny.

I saw the being running towards the clearing,

And I thought that she was brave.


They’ve existed all this time, she says, as she puckers her mouth, sweating. Putting her hair up in a cascading bun, even though she feels best when  dressed

in masculine: pocketed suits, plaid to cover up her elbows, well equipped. She’s so well equipped for anything.


I follow her with my dress, and my scuffy knees. & we turn the car off, together, both holding the keys.

Do you think we’ll find the lovely near the holly berries over there? I said.

She unpearled my blouse, kissed it until it became blended in strawberry from her lipstick,

Cooed softly to me, and I think I heard it said:

We’ll find our bereft love near the great lakes, near the animals that always existed,

with the floral. We’ll never have to move a muscle,

They’re right here.


Leslie Cairns