Carly Dreme

At age 10, I asked for forever when I asked for god.
For life past when breath ceased to slither out of wind-up bodies.

God made other offerings,
But not a name:
A praying mantis ever-present at her grave.
A childlike reaction to pain.
A seasonal routine.

Prayers recall you called life with a word.
I keep words in my chest, contend names hold life, mix dolls with the dead.

Children know to sniff out storms.
I trade tinkering for tracking, sense a parent’s sorrow like oncoming rain.

Seasons push round,
imitate vicious cycles,
Teasing change and narrating a still-life instead.

I tend my family,
Insist I am a foundation stone
Instead of a hummingbird, thrashing to hold my place.
Stillness lies.

I pray the names of the dead do not.

--

--

Cheap engraving, she wears it well,
Colors a sound into fake gold to match the crank.
Flowers and a self-naming word to capture a song and a CGI moment.
She misses the controls of another world.
She sings to her deskmates to remember her power:

My lighter thinks
What if we danced together?
A flame and a sound
Tracking each other across senses.

My laptop resents
The implication that there are better games elsewhere.
Blue light highlights the box best,
Reminds her she can make music on her own.

My lamp wonders
Will you still love this song when the lights go out?
She trills as long as I twirl.
Knows my love/life is short.

Old dreams feel young.
Silly box.
Don’t make me remember forgetting.

--

--

I’m convinced
Writers stain everything.

Scrub
Pen marks on my new sweater
From crossed arms
As he explained, at length,
And I forgot the blue that the curve of my palm
Dragged up from my Unabomber impersonation.

Ask
how many checks
Off of the social-media-led-list have ink?
-Kids?
-Financial goals?
-Religion? (see: kids)
-Coping mechanisms?
Apprehensive of the ways we’ve already marked each other.

Bleach
underwear
& red flags for convenience’s sake.
My mother reminds me* how dangerous it is to have children when you’re older.

*at least I can still get pregnant.

--

--

This poem was originally published in the 2020 collection of works Stories of Achvat Amim.

His mother knows
The rhythms of a plant none can name.
Her tongue sounds off
The language her grandfather sang.

It’s here, it breathes
When we
Know it, feel it

Then it’s gone
A sound wave crashed,
A memory undermined,
A plotline broken.

The tone lingering in my ears
resembles wailing grief,
Echoing
Within the space of a life that should have been
Off of the frame of a life that refuses to die.

--

--

Carly Dreme

Carly Dreme

Writer. Producer. Geographer. Activist. Frequently lost or forgetting something.