Real Life (Written December 29, 2017)

Real Life

He will have to abandon his dream,
if he wants to go on living. Real life,
compared to the dream, is dull,
monotonous, hardly worth the effort.

The dream seems to be illuminated
from within, the way the warm, translucent
waters of the Caribbean, when calm, are lit
from below, revealing wondrous forms
too rich and varied to be believed.

What is the dream? It is always
the same and always different.
He is in another city, another country,
where people recognize him
for who he is, and value him,

Where people do not hesitate
to speak to him, openly, where people
love him and look after him when he’s
in need. All his wishes, whether modest
or not so modest, are fulfilled,

As they never are, in real life.
It’s too good to be true, but it is true,
in the dream, which stays with him
all day, like a drug. He never wants
to let it go, but he must. Let him,

Instead of turning away from real life,
turn back, open his heart, pay more
attention, and discover again, as if
for the first time, the beauty in small,
everyday things. Let him see that he is,

In truth, one of the lucky ones,
to be where he is, in this country
that he’s made his own, in this city
that he’s lived in, longer now
than he can remember, with

The woman he loves, whom he can
talk openly with, without fear or shame.
Let this be the dream that he dreams,
in which there is no regret or blame.

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