Remember These Words

Over breakfast, my father says he’s dreamed a snowstorm. His sometimes-friend-sometimes-enemy lost in it, and he searching. His voice thick-clotted flakes and sideways wind. The friend lost for years. Where we’re from, a small tick burrows in and, if we don’t catch the signs of disease, lingers and waits, blooming into dementia years later. My father found him in the dream; hefted him onto his back, but they both became lost. Knee-deep banks and driving snow. What do you think it means?

Possible collective nouns for past loves include a Jury, a Greek Chorus, a Mirror, an Augmentation—a Dissonance.

I dreamed of an old love, and before I woke I took his face in my hands: both crinkled at the eyes, and less beautiful. We agreed to each ask a question, and tell one true thing.

A Chord, a Kindness.

In workshop, the poet reminds us the wonder of poems in sections is that you can forever play with order, creating new poems. I am the only daughter amidst three brothers, birth order fixed.

A collective noun for family—formed by blood or marriage—is Crapshoot.

Across the table sat one love, and a younger woman who looked like her—around the chin, her hair. The younger woman told her story: something dear, something hard. I said the wrong thing and her eyes went dark with hurt, then anger. My love said “stop talking,” but I didn’t—I tried to explain this is how I understand this similar thing that happened to me. My love touched my hand, “stop talking now.” This was also a dream; she doesn’t even know I love Her.

An Applause, a Truth, a Pardon.

At the end of the assessment, you’ll be asked the three words from the beginning—you’ve been drilling them silently the whole time, as you answer the name of the president, today’s date. You’re asked how you’ve been feeling, or if you get along generally with people, but all the time you know you have to remember those three words, and in that order:

Snow, Mirror, Pardon.

C. Kubasta 

C. Kubasta writes poetry, fiction, and hybrid forms. Her most recent book is the short story collection Abjectification. Find her at and @CKubastathePoet on Twitter and Instagram. 

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