Keep only those things that speak to your heart
My dreams are carefully folded like clothing, like sheets, like origami.
I stuff them into a birdcage. They protest, resign, comply.
I lock the cage. Place it in a cardboard box.
Fold the lid in on itself. Free to a good home.
Free to any home. Free.
I put the box on the curb in the sun. Inside, it heats up. Stifling.
Inside, I twist in on myself. My dreams wilt, wither, melt.
Spread across the base. Pool in the corners. Soak into the cardboard.
I am wide-eyed at the window as the box is picked up
by someone in a pick-up who doesn’t even bother to look inside.
The box is light. And heavy.
My dreams drive off down the street. They protest, resign, comply.
Turn the corner. Something new flutters.
Jenna Heller is an American-New Zealander living in Christchurch, New Zealand. In 2020, she won the NZ National Fiction Day competition and was shortlisted for the New Zealand Society of Authors’ Heritage Awards (poetry) and the Takahē Monica Taylor Poetry Prize.
You can see more of Jenna's work in 5.2 and 7.2 and 9.1