Night-Blooming Roses

Let me love you.

With a pillow fort. Two blankets. Too big for the bed. Just enough light to skim your imagination. But not so much you can’t fall asleep. You’ll doze and wake and each time you do you’ll hear the traffic and be grateful none of it is you.

You’ll know the full moon will be setting through the left window in the morning but you’ll be up in plenty of time to watch and you’ll know it will bring the first smile of the day. But first You’ll dream of someone named Rose from Detroit. And rain. And a wet walk along a woodsy median in the dark. Muddy. Overly populated with boulders and ornamental trees for a median in imaginary Detroit. You’ll borrow some dry clothes at Rose’s apartment with the silent acknowledgment that you’ll have to return them, and won’t that be a lark.

She will make a movie reference. Calling you a name to imply she suspects something about you. Oh, so you’re a brill. Or was it krill? And you won’t get it because it’s obviously a kid’s movie and you don’t know many of those.

In the morning you’ll have to take the subway to get home. At the station someone will ask what’s a white girl doing in this neighborhood, and you’ll say visiting Rose. And he will make jokes. And you’ll reveal little. And when the subway comes it will look more like a trolley.

You’ll stir in the middle of the night. The fort will shift and slide and become landscape under your knees and shoulders. And you’ll giggle. And think what a delightfully odd time to hear your own giggle. A wee laugh in wee hours. You’ll wonder if it’s at all worth it to break the spell of this comfort for a drink of water and decide against it.

And fall back asleep wondering if Rose is real in the real Detroit. And does she really think yoga videos are cheesy or was she just teasing? And does Detroit even have a subway? And if not, where were you? Where were we?

On another adventure in your dreamy mind. And we will feel we have a secret. And we will google brill. And krill. And immediately decide it must have been brill, because ew. And then you’ll eat breakfast and remember Rose is a character in the novel you’re reading. And in your dream she looked an actress you saw on Netflix. And we will google her and discover her real name is Rose, though you didn’t know this, and wow, what-a-not-a coincidence. And she’s from New York, which does have a subway, although Detroit does have a trolley.

And then it will be time to get dressed for work. And there’s no time for a bath because we did all this instead. Let me love you anyway. And your night-blooming roses.

— Mercy

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