Only in dream do the children come out first,
lined up, nervous

Only in dream do my enemies look on,
tittering, nudging in new school uniforms

Only in dream my book’s blank leaves grow scribbles
crowding out his name.
I draw a box to protect it,
to carry it.

Only in dream is he
taller. Only in dream
are my body’s arms around him.

Soft against my cheek, his
tender neckskin, his
fuzzy handknit sweater,
smelling sweet and old

Only in dream is he
silent while I have words.
Does he hear my dreamvoice against his neck?
I can barely speak
My throat is breaking
‘I love you’

In my hand,
a leaf to bring back to you!
But surfacing vanishes my scrap of evidence

(First published in nthposition)