i used to dream about sinking into the ocean. i used to dream about going up in flames and finding redemption in the way that the ash fell from my hands. now, when i dream, i think about the way that passion used to light my veins. i think about the pain that pinched my limbs and the cramps that woke me screaming in the middle of the night. i dream about the agony - the way i would stare at the sun and call it living. the way that i called each bleeding wound life and each burned palm passion.
i was the girl that swallowed the world and spit up the ocean. i remember the way that the mountains scraped my throat and the slaughter of the world settling into the pit of my belly. i remember the bitterness hitting the back of my throat and the way that even when i doubled over, even when i screamed out, even when i hit my knees that i was crying hallelujah. the way that the world was brighter for the pain and the way that i believed the only way i could see was when i was saltwater-blind and running for my life.
i am a veteran when i am awake, but a soldier when i am asleep. in my dreams, i have nothing but gunpowder in my nose. my arms ache from the kick of the musket and my legs burn from the miles that they have run. i am tired and i ache for home. my tongue is metallic and my cheeks are covered in grime. i do not reminisce about the war - i am the war. i am laughing for each bullet that i fire. i am the agonizing screams that wake young men at night.
i sleep as a lamb, but i dream as a lion. i dream of the blood running from my claws, of my incisors ripping into the jugular of life. i am a disaster and i have no care for the world that i am destroying under my soles. i am hollow and i am filling myself with the cries of the world. the agony of the shaking plains are held between my calloused palms. i am pain; i am pandora and my dreams are the box i break open every night.
i release my thoughts onto the unwitting world. i set homes on flame to wake the slumbering and let them know what they are missing. i dream in terror and remember the pain that once lit my bones alight. i remember the graveyards that i called home and the blank tombstones that i carved my name on - just so that i could call something my own. i remember the wars tattooed onto the back of my eyelids and the disasters carved onto the backside of my heart.
i dream in memories and wake in pain.
(i dream in flames and wake in ash.)