Sean Pravica

Posted on March 23, 2011


Dreams Not Recalled

The brick house stands sturdy, unblown by winds sneaking up from behind to tackle the chimney. Nothing drops. Trees shake ready to snap. Rocks sit. Earthworms burrow deep, unaffected, snide, five hearts pounding steadily except the one with three.

Inside she is awake in the crib. Ghost calls in the sneaky wind. Up all night, periodical tumults through mobile comas, tired eyes wrestle with stubborn ears, trading places in the bird’s nest tonight, only the closet door is closed.

This symphony is new. The house stands. But the song bends, and like the trees, refuses to snap. Their shadow fingers pluck merrily. Their taunt their play, their time not hers. They do not listen, and they are too busy to stop to hear her cry.

Outside a thousand cars drive through the city. Few lights are left awake to welcome. A tired, sleepy circle in red and blue flickers in that window. Table polish, mop against tiles, like a desperate, slow reel nightmare not remembered. Percolating devils dragging her toes, holding impossible symbols, and faces guiltless as the trees.

The lights rest finally on clean tables, and she can feel it even though she does not know it, like the spider-legged spear she cannot recall the moment her eyes opened, but can feel crawling on her huffing chest, her hurried breath running away while she drags the stone blanket up her side.

It is late now, she does not know but can feel. Even the ghosts have retired to their hollows. It is only their absence, their silence, their anti-call that swallows everything.

She never asked to know this time of night, this null set’s soundless sweeping. Everything is clean, polished, and dead from yesterday. The impending Lucifer brings light in its conquest. The light shines on nothing that was ever there before, not even the spirit songs that forced her crib awake.

And now she waits to go too, having gone before hundreds of times. But now she knows, though she never asked to know. And tomorrow she will not know, not like this. Tomorrow there will be nothing left of what she is now to know any of this. The mouth is closing…

Outside the daylight is on the crib, even though it is inside, still as a bottle cap. Mom has not come yet to lift her into day, but day has lifted her as much as it can. Small unease creeps, but she is glad to see the sun burn red through the curtains. Something is different about its touch against her cheek, but what is so is not remembered, except in dreams not recalled.


Sean Pravica is a journalist and photographer living in southern California.

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