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Continued from the first line of Adrienne Rich’s Twenty-One Love Poems (ii)

14th May and 9th December 2020

I wake up in your bed. I know I have been dreaming.

I think you were there but from the distance I could not tell if it was you.

I wanted to move closer. But I was trapped.

My feet rooted to the ground like the base of an ancient tree.

I was stood there tall.

I wanted to move but I could not.

The shape of you moved,


Walking left and right,

And then left and right again

and again.

I wanted to be able to help you.

To know what you were thinking. But still,

I was rooted.

I even thought

What if I could end this dream?

To be back beside you in our bed again,

To remind myself we are close.

But I was trapped by a body unable to move. Instead

I turned my head away

Trying not to watch you pace

Then out of the corner of my eye I saw you began to move towards me.


Slowly you came closer.

But as you reached me, I slipped out of the dream,

A dream I had once wanted to leave

Not anymore.

Then I woke up in your bed. I knew I had been dreaming.

Reminded that you were always there.

Since that first dream, there has been another,

There you were again,

But this time our bodies touched

Skin against skin,

Mine against yours,

Yours against mine.

But something was uncomfortable,

Our heads

They kept switching

I was resting on your left shoulder

Then your right, then your left again.

I realised you were crying as our foreheads met,

I did not wipe your cheek as I wanted to.


I stole a kiss.

It was brief

But still,

It seemed to last,

As time slowed, I lingered.

I wasn’t sure if you noticed,

I’m not sure if the kiss was returned,

As time slowed further, the dream faded away.

Then I woke up in my bed, I knew I had been dreaming.

And this time you were not there.