she said,
another odd dream.
i can’t recall the details,
but i do remember waking up feeling 
agitated, preoccupied, disturbed.

i said,
as you talk about it now,
what disturbs you?

she said,
she was in the dream.


the one whose imprint
i wish to erase.

i said,
who is she?
does she have a name?

she said,
i can’t name her.

you won’t…?

i won’t… name her.
i won’t give her that.

i said,
is that a rejection of ‘her’,
or a rejection of yourself?

what do you mean?

what about ‘her’ evokes
something in ‘you’?

you insinuate that i’m like her,
she said.
i’m not! i won’t be! i hate her!

i said,
yet maybe it is that part of her
you deny that conjures
a truth in you that you disown.

she said,
that’s absurd!

i said,
maybe so.
and maybe, alternately,
the hour for shining a light
on that shadow has arrived.

she said,
what would compel me to do that?

i said,
you speak of compulsion, though
there is also the matter of choice:

you can confront your shadow,
dialogue, and make peace.


you can allow ‘her’ to remain
hidden from your view,
separated from your awareness as
she festers inside you,

while you encounter the world
like an ocean without salt,
like an eagle without wings,
like a fire without oxygen.