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๐—ฃ๐—ผ๐—ฒ๐˜๐—ฟ๐˜† ๐—™๐—ฒ๐—ฎ๐˜๐˜‚๐—ฟ๐—ฒ: ๐—ง๐˜„๐—ผ ๐—ฃ๐—ผ๐—ฒ๐—บ๐˜€ ๐—ฏ๐˜† ๐—ก๐—ถ๐—ฐ๐—ผ๐—น๐—ฒ ๐—•๐—ถ๐—ฟ๐—ฑ

๐˜ฃ๐˜บ ๐˜•๐˜ช๐˜ค๐˜ฐ๐˜ญ๐˜ฆ ๐˜‰๐˜ช๐˜ณ๐˜ฅ



It's All Mountains Here



















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Why Do We Dream What We Dream?


I was a lonely child, forever

outrunning my home.

It was a roof, but not a shelter.

So, Iโ€™d watch movies, and

Iโ€™d forget the nights

I ran through my yard and hopped the fence

looking for another place to exist,

one not so rife with danger,

terrified that today may be the last day of

my life.


So, Iโ€™d watch movies,

Iโ€™d get lost in the tales of Samurai

claiming their honor or wandering the countryside

as Ronin.

Maybe I was a masterless warrior

or a spy, left out in the cold

or a mariachi, dedicating his life to vengeance

or a young woman, torn between love and duty

amidst a world beset with violence,

in a zombie apocalypse,

battling the boogeyman,

dancing in discos,

or plotting to remove a destructive man

from my life.

Maybe I was the femme fatale,

the strong yet flawed hero

of any and every situation.


So, Iโ€™d watch movies,

yearning to make them,

fixated with bringing a story to life

on paper, celluloid, hard drive,

Anything.

As long as I made them.

and I got lucky, I made a few.

Nothing youโ€™ve heard of, or maybe youโ€™ve seen

one late night, on YouTube, a digital imprint

of my finger. At least thereโ€™s that.

But as I kept trying to climb, trying to

hook my fingers in the terrain,

a flood would arrive, a loss, a rejection, a setback,

bills, rent, jobs fell through, layoffs from no budget,

often I ate peas for dinner most nights, fed by

Kurosawa and Almodรณvar and Nair and Wilder,

until I was a feral filmmaker, made savage by the outside world,

contending with a shrinking window, closing off my chances

for survival.


I used to dream to keep me sane,

to transport me far, far away from my life

and chaos in the shape of a home.


But now I dream of a life not so close to

famine.

This city canโ€™t feed me. It can only house me

and circumstantially, as if to give me a cursory look

when I decide to crawl into bed.

It turns and utters

oh, youโ€™re still here?


I am.

At least as long as my dream feeds me,

Breadcrumbs providing a makeshift path.

But after so much struggle,

the crumbs sink in the dusty, ever shaking terrain.






Nicole's career began with a degree in Creative Writing. Her focus then shifted to garnering degrees in Film Production and Screenwriting. Afterwards, she worked in film, while writing and producing her own short films. Now Nicole works as a Creative Writing professor and is at work on a collection of poetry, as well as honing her gluten free baking skills she developed during the 2020 quarantine. Her work has appeared in the Ariel Chart International Literary Journal, The Indian Periodical, and Writing in a Woman's Voice, with others forthcoming. You can read more about Nicole at nicolebirdthewriter.com.


Speculative fiction & POETRY ZINE
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