I had a dream that I was back.
—dreamt on the night of April 23 and recorded on the morning of April 24 at 9:24 a.m.
I had a dream that I was back. It’s not clear where I had been. I was married to my husband. A man I loved many years ago who had died was alive in the dream, and he had a husband too. They lived in an apartment on Brighton First Road abutting the beach and the boardwalk that he and I had lived in once, but then we broke up and got new partners and they kept the beach-front house while my husband and I moved farther away. The husbands decided we should swap. At a certain point in the dream, I think the idea was that we were swapping husbands, and I was getting my old love back. But later in the dream it seemed we were sticking with our current husbands but switching apartments. I would be living at the beach again. Nothing could make me happier. Friends gathered, they welcomed us back and cheered us on. Doormen and security guards were so happy to see us back. We passed by a retired teacher or political figure we had known and admired who lived in the street now, scribbling bits of memory on a writing pad. We talked. We read what he had just written. Back in the Brighton Beach apartment, I complained about certain decorating choices my ex and his husband had made, including a carpet with an elaborate design in the pile. I talked about redecorating and a friend said better to save your money at this stage in your life. You’ll need it.
Michael Broder is the author of Drug and Disease Free (Indolent Books, 2016) and This Life Now (A Midsummer Night’s Press, 2014), a finalist for the 2015 Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry. His poems have appeared in numerous journals and anthologies. He is the founder of the HIV Here & Now project, Indolent Books, and Indolent Arts Foundation. He lives in Brooklyn with his husband, the poet Jason Schneiderman, and a backyard colony of stray and feral cats.
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Here is today’s prompt
(optional as always)
Write a poem based on a dream you had. Or write a poem about a dream you didn’t have. Find a way to connect it to HIV. Can you find the connection to HIV in today’s poem?