Emily E. Schulten

You walk to the
edge, prepared to let me
in this time, ready to take
me over. All
of the shes
are there, standing before
you, facing me,
blocking the clear
view I have come
so far to see.

          The ground reverts
          to the fresh dirt of
          seven years past, the rain
          has subsided, I begin to sink
          nonetheless. I will not
          fight the descent.
I continue to ignore
them—I picture you, make-believe
the lines of your
face in my imagination are real
and powerful but they
push at these visions, your face sinks
into a swirl of flesh colors
unrecognizable to anyone
but me
          We are surrounded
          by sleepers but we alone
           are awake—your
           hand touches my
          shoulder, light but real;
          I shake, I am drenched in
          sweat—yours or mine?
I am scared.
Your words melt on
my tongue and make me
high—I am an addict
in your world, standing
at the door I’ve opened
refusing to enter, inspect
the room now accessible.
I want to cling to you but
wade in the fear that
you will leave me
half, push me again
into the coma of
life without you.
          hold on, hold on, hold
          on so I will
          not catapult away. useless.
          I find you myself
          abandoned among the sleepers who
          do not realize it
          is all a dream
There is no goodbye—we are
stuck and the shes
are circling I must undertake
the task of their acceptance.
The grass grows tall
here and the water can be heard,
reached at a small
distance—your face complete
before me. A piece
of your hair grazes my


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