Verisimilitude: A poem

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you wake up and it’s gone.

vapor, the coolness of your breath


released over parted lips,

e x h a l e —

was it real?

your eyes roll back,

scour the recesses of your mind —

was it real? was it real?


your vision sinks to black as you relive

the touch

of someone tangible

only in your peripheral,

the wholeness of their body

an illusion of the light,

the lilt of their voice

a construction beyond



they were here. your bones

convince you of it.

they were the dip in the bed

beside you.

they were the wrinkles

in your sheets,

the reason your blankets are


they were here. they were real.


they are already fading from your mind’s eye.



you can’t discern their features

from the dappled light

on the walls.

suddenly the memory of

flushed skin

loses its luster;

you can’t quite assign a shape

to their eyes

or the curve of their lips

in retrospect.


the morning light

is a cold white flood.

it washes the remnants away.

you get up,

you get dressed,

you go on with your day.


the dream fades,

and with it,

a piece of you.

Contact Sean Tseng at [email protected] and follow her on Twitter at @STWeekender24.