RACHEL SPRINGER DUNBAR


All I want is the perfect love

In one version you catch me sunning under a tree while everyone else is out clearing levels.

I’ve seen you stay submerged for the longest time once you find something you truly want to hold your breath for.

I admire your ambition, and I like hunting sea creatures with you.

But we’re now in the game’s nicest season, and today is its best weather setting.

You lay down your gear and sleep next to me with the sun on your face.

 

 

 

 

All I want is the perfect love

As if to confirm real time has passed while we’ve been living in this world, there is a little girl wandering in the forest with no memory of where she’s from.

Her hair is long and black and dressed with mist.

She is our daughter.

She has been seeking us since the game birthed her.

Our enemy, who we do not yet know is our enemy, says that we are stronger—that we fight harder—with something to protect.

 

 

 

 

All I want is the perfect love

Tired of waiting for someone to lead the way, our captor joins the game as a player and soon heads the top guild, fighting with us on the front lines.

He looks forward to the dramatic reveal, moments before the final battle.

To the question “Why did you build this world and trap us in it?” is there any adequate answer?

I ask, but our enemy, after years among us, says he doesn’t remember.

When I began thinking of you before I fell asleep, I stopped having nightmares.

I know we’re just data in this world, but for so long, I looked for something real.

For me, it was the warmth of your hand.





Rachel Springer Dunbar lives and works in Portland, OR. Her chapbook, Hive Mind, is forthcoming this spring from Poor Claudia.

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