Unspoken, at Breakfast

Anna Jackson
Photo by Alondra Olivas

I dreamed last night that you were not you
but much younger, as young as our daughter 
tuning out your instructions, her eyes not 
looking at a thing around her, a fragrance 
surrounding her probably from her 
freshly washed hair, though 
I like to think it is her dreams 
still surrounding her 
from her sleep. In my sleep last night 
I dreamed you were much younger, 
and I was younger too and had all the power—
I could say anything but needed to say 
nothing, and you, lovely like our daughter, 
worried you might be talking too much 
about yourself. I stopped you 
in my arms, pressed my face 
up close to yours, whispered into 
your ear, your curls 
around my mouth, that you were 
my favorite topic. That 
was my dream, and that is still 
my dream, that you were my favorite topic— 
but in my dream you were 
much younger, and you were not you. 

Anna Jackson lives in Island Bay, Wellington, New Zealand, and lectures in English at Victoria University of Wellington. She has published six books of poetry with Auckland University Press, most recently I, Clodia (2014).