In dreams I imagine you encased in chainmail, a wayward piece of history pouring coffee in my kitchen every night.
You insert a leaf into the round table at which King Arthur eats his morning oatmeal and eggs. King Arthur finishes his bowl and leaves.
I knit you a sweater to wear under your chainmail but you tell me the desert is too hot for another layer. I understand. I put my knitting needles away.
You slip quietly out the door after handing the sweater back to me. I hold it in my lap, folded. When I hear the door close, I begin to unravel it from the neck down.
Say hello to the desert crickets for me when you march valiantly into battle. Remember the oatmeal sweater I made you. Remember King Arthur, oatmeal still stuck to his ribs.
If I could weave together for you words to wear under your chainmail, I would. But I do not write when I sleep, and these hands cannot spark life on their own.
When I wake you’re always gone. The kitchen table is round again. I fry two eggs and get out two bowls and think, One of you must be real. One of you must be real. I have made too much oatmeal to eat alone.