nightmares transposed


today, arms draped lazily across bare skin, as the full moon peaked just above the western horizon, we awoke in one other's nightmare.

"i don't even want to tell you about the dream i just had," i said, squinting into daybreak, gentle through the open window, as i avoided his gaze.

it wasn't me who spoke next.

"i dreamed that you're not right for me," he blurted, turning to face me; groggy, unexpected. "and the message was that we're not meant to be together."

confronting insecurity - material, physical, emotional - had been our medicine this moon cycle, recognizing 'i'm not enough' as our shared mantra of self-sabotage, mine inherited through ancestral lineage, perhaps; his, a product of abandonment in early childhood, i imagined.

over the past few days, i watched, in the immovable certainty of projection, the way his eyes saw me now, different than before. i knew he worried about a man from my past, and whether our newfound love would be enough to keep me faithful. i thought for sure he'd have gotten back with his ex by now. he told me he was scared he wouldn't be strong enough to love me in all the ways i needed him to. i struggled not to make it about me.

as new love blossomed between us, our collective insecurity manifest itself in jealousy, conversations on infidelity, bouts of fear and uncertainty, expressions of insufficiency, tendencies into addiction, and a propensity toward escape. i wondered if we could heal it all in ourselves, together; in one another, just by being there. choosing to stay, despite the steady instinct to run away.

his nonchalance in telling me about his dream, however heavy, gave me courage to do the same:

"i dreamed i slept with some loser on a surf trip," i said, finally. "and i knew i had to go home and tell you about it."

he raised an eyebrow, shifted his gaze toward the sun-dried valley, and held me a little tighter.

"it's just a dream," he said, kissing me softly. as if either of us believed that.

in simultaneous breath and skin on skin, we held each other in nightmares transposed; the full moon, unresolved, dipped below the mountain, dissolving beyond the sea.