The birds are stealing my dreams

Tara Campbell



The birds are stealing my dreams
they whirl above my bed at night
and settle on my headboard
ruffling feathers
twitching wings
cock silent heads
to track my breathing
slowing, deepening
they know to wait until I sink
until my eyelids flicker
until I weave the dreams

The birds hop to my pillow
and tug things from my ears
nightmares — sharp, dry sticks
tinsel-shred adventures
tuft-of-down romance
throughout the night they take it all
my slumber’s residue
they weave their nests
and bear their young
in shiny hope and sticky fear
dust-bound regrets
and shimmering delight

I used to write my dreams
into lined-paper cages
or tell them into amber
now all that’s left is glitter on my pillow
or a thorn
a twitter at the window
the birds wake me with the sun
to sing my dreams back to me.





TARA CAMPBELL [] is a Washington, D.C.-based writer and an assistant fiction editor at Barrelhouse. Prior publication credits include SmokeLong Quarterly, Litbreak, Masters Review, Luna Station Quarterly, Quail Bell Magazine, and Queen Mob’s Teahouse. Her novel, TreeVolution, was released in 2016, and her collection, Circe’s Bicycle, with be published in fall 2017.