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A Poem by Morgan Blundell-Smith

Sigmund Freud said every face we see in our dreams 

is a face we’ve seen before—in reality. 

They seep into the subconscious mind. It seems 

we often can’t remember where we’ve seen 

unfamiliar faces. Sometimes, I try to figure out where I know dream people from. 

Have I seen them in a shop? A school? A television screen? 

Most of the time, if I can’t place 

them, I lose interest when they stop appearing in my dreams. 

But this one face. 

It shows up every night. 

When I wake, the features are still etched into my brain, 

as clear as my sight. 

The eyes are just a little bit too far apart, 

the ears are just a little bit too pointy, 

and the teeth are just a little bit too sharp 

so that from a distance, no one would know 

they were just a little bit off. 

According to Freud, we must’ve met, but I don’t know 

where I’ve seen this face or when. 

All I know is that it's not human. 

And it's not my friend. 

Last night—with coffee, Red Bull, and ice— 

I sat in the dark, hoping to pry 

open my disobedient eyes. 

The hours dragged like nails on a chalkboard. Endlessly long. 

My efforts were futile because, at 6 AM, 

I fell asleep to birdsong. 

I saw a woman sitting within a rock 

with hair that rippled like waves on a shore. 

Her skin was a map, and her eyes were clocks, 

and with an earthy hand, she beckoned me to come close. 

I met God and stood before her. 

The light warmed my skin; the moss tickled my toes. 

Do you believe yourself to be beast or martyr? 

I told her I was neither. She smiled. 

You will be shown the way if you follow after. 

The moss peeled, and bones rose from soil. 

Mud melted into flesh that stretched over 

the very face that made me recoil. 

It wasn’t human. Now, I know that for sure. 

I could see it wanted to drag me beneath the ground 

it was born from in the eyes that bore 

into my throbbing skull, but I wanted to trust 

that God had a plan and meant me no harm. 

You will leave and then you must stop looking. You must. 

‘But you’ve taken someone from me.’ I know. 

‘I want to bring them back.’ 

In time, you will be reunited. For now, you must go. 

We crossed still water that didn’t reflect. 

Instead, your freckles and rosy cheeks 

flooded my mind with jokes and fights, impossible to forget. 

We became submerged in the darkness of a cave. The moist 

walls heaved with the rising and falling of breath. 

They echoed with falling water droplets and your voice. 

The thing led me to a well. I peered inside 

and saw clouds. It told me I could return to my home, 

or I could continue up the path to where lost souls reside. 

A greying tongue licked its lips as it pressed 

for me to choose love over life. To stay. Always.  

I realised—at that moment—it was a test. 


God smiled at me from the sun as I leapt towards the sky. 

I’ll be back, my love—I promise. For now, this is goodbye.

Back to BoundBy: March'23 (Edition #1)

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