Welcome, loves, to Open Mic Friday! Every week we have a featured “reading” in the body of this post. Applause and other feedback go in the comments, where you’re also welcome to share your own work. The comments are threaded, so you can reply directly to each reader by hitting the “reply” button within that comment box.
Read, share, and converse!
Today’s guest post comes from Ré Harris, whose blog I discovered recently and have been reading with delight ever since. She wrote this prose poem after waking from a dream.
Sparks by Ré Harris
We met in that dream space just after the deep sleep. She said, “I like your ring,” as she took my hand into hers and held it close to her face, her warm breath floating over my trembling fingers, over me, like a moist, intoxicating veil. She kissed my palm tenderly, tasting the salt with her tongue, and smiled. I let her lead me into the rabbit hole. She glided and maneuvered. I fell.
It was awful. We were in her bedroom, on the second floor. I was down to my underwear and I couldn’t think. I could feel the room getting hotter, her hands gliding over the muscles alongside my vertebrae, and her scent — one of those mysterious flower/spice things that works its way into your clothes, into your hair, into your memory. It probably had a name like “Sensation” or “Seduction.” I wanted to leave, but I couldn’t at first. I felt sick. My stomach got butterflies, my tongue itched, and all I wanted to do was to be able to stay and have a clear head, but all I could do was wander from one overheated thought to another, dodging the sparks, searching for a way to get out of there before I was consumed, before I was sucked so far down inside her that I’d lose myself.
The room lit up, and the fear overtook me. I ran down the staircase in my briefs, almost stopping to go back for her, but I knew she’d be all right. She had planned it all. She knew where the exits were.
I saw her escape through the bedroom window, floating down to the grass weightlessly, like an ash. She was wearing a gossamer robe that looked like a shimmering, translucent garden in bloom (she must have thrown it on after I ran out) and she flashed me, smiling wide, something reflecting the evening sun held tight between her teeth — my gold pinky ring, a proud memento for her. I gave it up gladly.
I’m standing before you now, yards ahead of the house smoldering behind me, what’s left of the sun squinting my eyes. Her laughing figure, gilded in the waning sunlight, is running toward the forested feet of the mountain shadows far in the distance. The sky is blue and pink and lavender, like baby’s things, and I’m thinking this story, sending it to you without moving my lips. There’s a crackling sound behind me, some wind rushing over my face in little slaps that make me wince, and it seems that something is at the edges of all this, enclosing it all around, framing it like a picture.
Ask yourself this question: If you run in your dreams, will your heart beat faster?
Everything slows down now. My hair blows over my face in fat horizontal billows like window sheers rising on a lazy breath of summer air, each strand in turn caught for a moment, suspended in time. I rub my chin with my thumb, thinking, then I turn away from you, slower, my shoulders, my chest, my legs. My body leans far into the turn, and it seems I might fall, imperceptible momentum holding me up. Ever slower, I hunch down into a running stance, my fingers curling into fists that pump through the air around me as if it was thicker than molasses, and I run after her toward the mountains, into the future.
Questions — Why? Can I catch her? and, Would she have me if I did? — cross my mind and disappear. My heart is beating fast, faster.
Ré Harris is a longtime writer, and new crochet pattern designer, who lives in Chicago. She began seriously writing on her young blog late this summer when a chance experience at a free rock concert resurrected her creative spirit. You can find her posts at sparksinshadow.wordpress.com.
Thank you, Ré! And now — it’s your turn. The comments are open!