I kept dreaming you were dead.

You are,
so that makes a certain amount of sense.
My brain getting me used to the idea
regardless of how much I will
be used to the idea.

In all of my dreams,
it has been too late to say anything,
you were very obviously dead.
It wasn’t even a matter of there being things I wanted to tell you
and lamented the inability,
the loss of connection,
my subconscious was very insistent that I understand

I’ve not been sleeping well,
the two things might be connected.

It could be that I dread the reminder
my dreaming mind
won’t shut up about
that I’m avoiding the topic

But this morning we met at a tea house.
There was a stage to my left, your right
filled with the promise of a show to come.
You were vibrant with smiles,
and I was happy to see it.
We talked for a time,
over the small round cups
of steaming hot tea
when I realized it was just me talking,
and always had been.

The awareness gave me pause and I squinted at you,
a shimmer in the dark space.
“You’re not really here, are you?”
And then you weren’t.

Alone at a table,
cups empty and bereft of the warmth I’d imagined was real.

But the tea,
when it arrived,
was delicious.