The Things I Would Like On My Bedside Table When I Wake Up

1.) A calendar. All the days crossed out in neat little boxes
with definitive little slashes.
I don't remember them,
but they must have happened.
It's best this way.

2.) A report card. All my grades from my senior year,
Perfect 4.0, perfect square, perfectly expected.
When I went to sleep last night, I had only
started the school year.
I see these grades, these flawless, these over,
and I know I have them, but I don't
remember how I got them.
I don't remember sleepless nights, medicinal caffeine,
constant tension in my mind and my limbs.
It's best this way.

3.) A college acceptance letter. All my efforts realized.
But I don't remember the efforts.
I only look down and discover I have fallen asleep
in a Northwestern University sweatshirt.
They want me; they're taking me away.
From what? I don't recall.
It's best this way.

4.) Glossy pictures of unreality. All the frozen pieces
of a school play, chopped impartially into individual frames.
I don't remember tears, I don't remember struggles,
I don't remember anticlimax, insomnia, and the sound of my heart
breaking along an old fracture line
Bitterness, cynicism, disillusionment. For all I know, I never
learned of their existence.
I just lay the pictures on my pillows and think that
based on my face, based on the faint, dreamlike fragments of
memory I can collect, (if I try), that must have been the
happiest night of my life.
No heft, no hurt, no heart, no bloodsucking rehearsals.
Did they happen? I have no record of them.
It's best this way.

5.) A tiny leather book. All of what has happened since I
fell asleep, chronicled in my own painstaking handwriting.
My novel, realized.
And a note on its cover: "Read if you want to remember."
I tuck it in a drawer beneath bleeding yellow Polaroids.
It's best this way.

(I think.)