Dream, love. I am a whittler in this life. We can live
anywhere you want: a farm, the stable, a tiny house in a field
of silence. The walls will be made of anything but organs.
You will never see blood. Dream, love. There are no hospitals
this time. Instead, it is your 16th birthday and I am mad at you
because there is a boy in my house you swear you love. Shallow
as a rotten avocado, but your eyes are big and fly trapped with him.
You expect me to love generously. Dream, love. You are 21
and fastening a medal to your graduation robe, while I complain
about the uneven floor of your kitchen. You are 27 and I am calling
you to say goodnight. Dream, love. You are 34 and I am asking
about the last episode of your favorite TV show. You are 19
and I am watching you leave the house to go out with friends.

Dream, love. You see, here, the sand is made of fish.
The only thing their gills breathe is you. You, everything’s
air and the sea is nothing but waves of whispers. You were born
to swim in secrets. But pull each curve of water back
and you will see she is nothing but your mother, spooning
you advice. Your mother will always be the ocean, and I, the dream.
So dream, love. I am here at the bus stop, waiting to cary
your backpack home. My arms are open, they are tree trunks
that will never fall. I am all the sidewalk you walk on,
so you will never need to walk home alone again.

Dream, love. You are every age, and I am staying up,
waiting for you to come home.

Art by Usarae Gul