Serena sleeping next to me, next
door? She might as well
her fearful thighs quiet and cold
shut tight like old machinery in old
buildings before old eyes before waking me,
and just when I think I can't hate her any more I

wake

Serena sleeping next to me, next
time this nightmare isn't about her I will
know it is over; she is always in
my dreams both beautiful and horrifying
sometimes I am choking her without wanting to
and others she just stands in the kitchen
sliding her dress off and pretending she doesn't know me,
clumsy and malicious

I wake and Serena sleeping next to me
weighs on the bed and I can't possibly sleep
anymore, my arm quietly invading her warm territory
knowing she smells like Serena, she smells like home
and I turn her and it isn't Serena:
it is Serena without a face but (somehow)
I am not scared, I just know this Serena
lost her face and I turn her over quickly
before the bed becomes a bloody mess

I wake and Serena sleeping next to me is made of
plastic and glossy eyes which are always open
Serena next to me is not warm, Serena next to me
is not sick with poisoned blood
Serena next to me doesn't smell like grass but
she is serene Serena
and she will still be before I wake
so I run my hands between her plastic disjointed legs
and I pry open her discolored lips
with my own discolored lips

Serena next to me doesn't smell like home, she smells
like replaceability, like forgetting
like unused bathwater and salt

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