Sara Blake
The Film Between
Poem

It wasn’t sorrow or
defeat or hopelessness.
It wasn’t even exasperation.
It was distinct, sharp,
and bubbling rage.
not so different
from screaming
underwater—muffled and
blunted by the film between
the dreamplace and waking,
like being trapped in phone booth
made of warped plexi,
the sound reverberating
in nearly visible waves,
slithering all over the walls.

The release started
deep in my belly,
fired up through my
diaphragm, and growled
all the way up through my face,
my blood building with the sound
as the scream-air billowed
out in the slow-motion
aftershock loping behind.

The heat in my cheeks
was all that remained
after the sound had
spilled over my lips.
Just the heat and
a sort of gravel in my throat
like leftover gunpowder.

The body can only
overtake the mind
in bursts and gulps,
by the time I knew
the scream was here,
it had already left me,
and was outside of me,
a ghost I now knew was real
but could not hear or see.

When you're only dreaming,
a scream never feels finished.
The sound is not real,
so neither is
its catharsis—
only a proxy from real life
to transmit and
repay in sleep.

The sound can never escape—
just ricochet and
vibrate back again,
or shoot straight out,
then freeze and drop
flat like a pin.
An impotent impulse—
wild but unfulfilled
arriving all the way to the
edge but never leaping,
reabsorbed—trapped in the
dream shell,
which is also
my body.

I was grateful
for the rage
and it’s child, the scream—
my child too—
a sort of birth
to prove
at least I was
not dead.

When I woke the dream was already
miles behind me,
and the rage was gone,
replaced with relief—
and a new feeling too,
trailing behind like a slinking ellipsis.

Some feral hunger for
that self-made fire.
If not rage, give me
any other flavor.
Love or lust, a Picasso,
a da Vinci, drums that
match the frequency
of my heartbeat
and make me topple like
a high-rise in an
earthquake.

The mountains, the sea,
the full moon, the fuck.
And if those are all out,
well, I’ll take the rage again too.

Why do I feel so deep
in a canyon with
no shelter or food,
but no will to get home?