blood drips from my sleep like a leaky faucet
CONTENT WARNINGS: gun violence, head injury
I can't stop dreaming about being
shot in the head.
There is no pain—
(I’ve never felt pain in my dreams,
only the weight of its absence)
Instead there is pressure.
Concrete filling the bullet hole—
blood hardening like cement.
My thoughts cave in with the thunderous clap of the gun,
too heavy to keep me upright.
I never die, but
I know I will soon.
Fear sinks deep in my stomach
as the world fades around me,
curling in on itself like the edges of a burning photograph.
Soon there will be nothing left but cold ashes and the smell of smoke.
The shooter never aims for me, but it is always
when I’m caught in the crossfire.
Either I’m too stupid or
to keep myself alive.
I never realize which it is in time.
Maybe one day I’ll fill my head with more than jagged bullet holes,
and the shot won’t matter because
I’ll wake up too light to be weighed down by blood.
Or maybe the gun will still fire—
the red-hot tear of fear running through me as usual,
but this time I’ll be ready
and it won’t be