What To Read Or Listen To After a Nightmare


“I am terrified of this dark thing/that sleeps in me.”

– from Elm by Sylvia Plath

I have nightmares on a daily to be honest, but this week especially they’ve been super draining. Having things to listen to and read help calm me down enough so that I can go back to sleep. Here are some of the ones that help me:

“leaving is not enough; you must/stay gone”

– from Frida Kahlo to Marty McConnell by Marty McConnell

• • •

“I swear I wasn’t trying to die/I just wanted to see what my pulse looked like from the inside.”

– from When the Bough Breaks by Andrea Gibson

• • •

“I will/pretend the entire time that I don’t know it’s coming.”

– from A Sonnet of Invented Memories by Miles Walser

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“When nobody is looking, I can fly.”

– from Lies I’ve Told My Three-Year-Old Lately by Raul Gutierrez

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“Will I be something?
Am I something?
And the answer comes:
You already are.
You always were.
And you still have time to be.”

– from Here Am I by Anis Mojani

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“Of course this is true”

– from A Bad Weekend in Three Parts by Clementine von Radics

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“I have never called myself survivor. Survivor implies I fought.”

– from Play by Saidu Tejan-Thomas

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“You want a better story. Who wouldn’t?”

– from Litany in Which Certain Things Are Crossed Out by Richard Siken

• • •

“nobody wants to hear you cry/about the grief inside your bones”

– from The Nutritionist by Andrea Gibson

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– from I Do by Andrea Gibson

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“We are capable of disaster. And we are scared.”

– from The Weight of Our Living: On Hope, Fire Escapes, and Visible Desperation by Ocean Voung

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“And who would ever choose to be the damaged house?”

– from Bruja by Rachel McKibbens

“I’m not sure what happens when we stop.”

– from How To Build a Fire Pit in the Backyard by Alexis Pope

• • •

“Are you listening?/Can you hear me?”

– from God Box by Ken Arkind

Contributing Editor

Alexis Smithers is a twenty one year old explosion of messes. They are queer black writer that was published in a book about how horses heal (Wild at Heart by Heather Kirby), and has work that can be found on theEEEL. Fun facts: they tied a pillowcase to their back and tried to fly after seeing Sky High, their mantra can be found in Wreck-It Ralph, The Babadook, or Orphan Black (depending on the day) and they’re terrified of mostly everything but art makes the fear easier to hold.