top of page
the dream dealer


a man with stars in his hair 

and incandescent eyes 

shuffles past me in the winter, 

pulling his boots up from the snow 

as he offers me his wares 

a penny for a promise,

a dime for a dream, 

a quarter for a question,

a dollar for a scheme

two for some more,

pay three for four, 

the secrets of the 

meaning of this world 

are yours 

says he sells fantasies, every last one 

of the broken paths and forgotten pledges,

dreams that died and 

wishes that never came true 

and he sells them by the bottle,

charging a little bit of lifeblood 

for every dose, so we give

our years for better ones, 

exchanging a breath to roll 

the thousand-sided die so we may 

land on our feet one day 

outstretched hands 

fingers scraped raw, shaking

from the bitter winter and coarse wind, 

i wait as he pours stars 

into my palms that 

burn my skin and leave 

nothing but reddening blisters 

to bloom like rhododendrons 

against the white snow 


laughs, says he screams ghosts 

into our ears and calls them songs, 

wraps them around 

our feverish minds to remind us of 

these winter days, 

to entomb the frost creeping 

into our bones,

to suffocate flesh in 

seeping delirium so that we may 

laugh as we lie with steel 

in our necks and silver in our hands



of our creation, wraiths of smoke 

that surround us all our days. 

we inhale the bitter scent of the 

ambrosian dream of yesteryear

to see its gilded colours fade 

when we close our eyes at last; 

we carry it with us, even as our 

fingers bleed and our skin cracks 

and what is left of divine image 

crumbles into carnal frenzy

says he sees himself in me, once with 

chapped lips on a pale face, 

yearning to shatter and swallow 

another vial of fatal illusion so that 

i may be magnificent again, 

drunk on grandeur, 

intoxicated with the sight of 

unforged paths and  

unfinished plans 

and i ask him for a little more 

because i wither as 

the delusion of reality takes hold 

and rips me from destiny.

my knees buckle and my eyes water 

and i crawl towards the wooden cart 

to beg for a little bit more, 

just one more dose 

although my pockets are as empty as my 

pain-stricken mind

but he only laughs and ambles away, 
leaving a trail of glass shards and
half-broken reveries in his wake 

foolish one 

they capture us by 
drinking us dry,
they feed us, they reap us, 
they bend us, they break us

they destroy us
when they sell us fantasies,
and we buy every single one of them 
until we have nothing left. 

Storytelling is a powerful force changing the world, and Grace indulges in it through writing epic fantasy novels, poetry, playing piano, composing, or weaving narratives into her speeches and essays. For inspiration, she immerses herself in world history, linguistics, philosophy, politics, and current events. Of course, she enjoys listing things, and when she’s not complaining about the injustices of the world, she’ll definitely be making more daily TO-DO lists.

This poem was first included in issue 111 of Pluvia

bottom of page