A Recurring Dream

Every few months, I have the same dream. The details always vary but the same narrative unfolds: my father appears, I am astonished, and I go about telling everyone that he is back from the dead. I call up friends and family and announce the news of his resurrection. I hold him and kiss him and talk to him and he does not understand my joy. He has no knowledge of his death. He expects everything to be the way it was before. It's as though he has not been gone, the past seven years never happened, I did not put him into the ground. But I know otherwise. So my mind is confused. How can he be alive? But he is! He is! And I must tell everyone. I believe the dream every time. It seduces me and devastates me. I always wake up to my unspeakable grief.

I had the dream last night. I remember only fragments. There was his face and all the phone calls to relatives telling them he was alive. I woke up to a dark room, a cool November day, and I carried the memory of the dream to literature classes, hallways, and  elevators. Every space I touched, the dream also touched. I held this dream inside, like another world on the verge of blossoming. I had him for a moment, there in my sleep. He was real and tangible and breathing and I was restored only to be ruined all over again.