the playlist of our lives

in dreams
Nokyoung Xayasane

I laid in bed, not sleepy yet
so I put my headphones on
and scrolled down to my ‘In Dreams’ playlist,
which is just four songs right now,
no lyrics, atmospheric, gentle music.

I press play and close my eyes,
the comforting darkness around me.
The gentle sway of the music begins,
my mind begins to wander.

I see our first apartment with its peeling walls,
once we tried to cover it with flowery wallpaper
but it didn’t work so well.

I’m in a car and we’re driving down the highway,
there are hills outside undulating
and the slightest breeze from the open window,
there’s music from the radio
playing the playlist for our lives,
lives that keep unwinding, that marches forward.

I’m sleeping in a crowded camp
and there are the sounds of people around,
shouting and laughing, there’s the creep of something
metal on wood, I can’t sleep.

My mom turns on the radio
and places it beside me
and the sound moves the air around me.
I’m somewhere else, beyond this place.
The music lifts and dips, it expands before me,
unrolling, undulating hills and tattered wallpaper.

I’m a light sleeper,
a mother’s sleep, they say.
There’s a breeze from a car window,
I turn my head in bed and enter sleep
with mosquito netting around me,
somewhere in a white bed in Toronto.

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