Fargo Tbakhi: Dream In Which I Am Married to Ethan Hawke

Fargo Tbakhi: Dream In Which I Am Married to Ethan Hawke

benediction, with lines from bruce springsteen


everything dies, baby/ that’s a fact/ but maybe/ you’ll be an alien/ now/ some kind of beauty queen/ a splendored thing many/ hands would lose their fingers to caress/ yeah, buzz your hair/ call it a new day/ a collection of many things, splendored/ with sequins/ from the dollar store/ you know, now, you’ll be ninety-five cents at the dollar store/ grubby, weighing heavy in the pocket/ so close, but never enough/ oh little one, i hope you’ll be alright/ i hope you know you’ll jingle, anyway/ everything that dies/ someday comes back/ so/ promise me, little many mine, we won’t outlive/ the splendorthings/ that grow from the dirt/ or between the legs/ or within the chest cavity/ or between the teeth/ no, if we’ll die/ let’s die all at once and call it/ the end of every thing/ oh, i hope/ you know/ i’ll still love you in the morning/ my splendor, my many, my thing/ when you close your eyes i know you’ll see ocean/ let it lull you to sleep/ i hope you know you’ll dream of elevators/ plummeting/ always unsure if they’re going down/ or, somehow, up/ i’ll be waiting for you once you find out, baby/ i’ll be home, sitting cross-legged/ here in the mirror/ put your makeup on/ fix your hair up pretty/ meet me tonight/ somewhere/ we won’t look back/ an elevator rocketing upwards/ the doors sliding open/ the seawater, flooding in


dream in which i am married to ethan hawke


at an hour of the morning my friends would be impressed by-

say, 8:00, maybe even 7:30-

my eyelids drift open.

the garage doors of the face, dream-ethan called them

once, the pads of his fingertips teaching the lilies of my eyes

a tap dance. dream-ethan’s fingers are fred astaire and i’m


no, i’m his shoes- no, the stairs he’s dancing

down- oh, forget it,

           i’m the rhythm he’s dancing to. i’m the violins. and

the shoes. and the stairs. and ginger,

i’d always wanted to be ginger but i never

had the feet for it, the grace, the whiteness-

but in the dream,

            there is no whiteness, so i can be as much ginger

rogers as i want,

 every inch the ball gown, the confidence- backwards,

in heels.  in the dream where i’m married to ethan hawke,

no one owns anything: not land, or clothes,

or dvd copies of dead poets society.

the world’s got no borders. all my shoes fit.

i know just what to say and

what language to say it in, my tongue agile as a pole vaulter,

                                                launching its way into dream-ethan’s

earlobe in a perfect arc. it reaches a zenith and comes down like an


my tongue can do the splits in this dream,

without tearing one language or another. my tongue

licks arabic and english both, unravels dream-ethan

with its fluent oscillation.

in the dream, i get out of bed, look at my body

                                    and i like it. (this is a miracle

i cannot overstate. this is lazarus, and wine, and the

laughter of infants. this is nuclear fission.) i touch my

face in the mirror and feel

that it is just a face- not a child on a poster,

not a most wanted. only a dollop of godliness,

wanted just the right amount.

and in this moment i love the tips of dream-ethan’s fingers more

than i have ever loved anything else.

 i love dream-ethan

with a bigness in which i am a

universe and he is entropy-

baby, you’ll be the death of me. darling,

you could not exist

                                    without my body to break down,

your restless feet dancing up and down my walls-

royal, sending me kisses           

on disintegrating letterhead. oh, 

this message will certainly destruct, but it won’t be of

its own volition this time-  

wait, wrong ethan.

i tell him you are a horse, ethan (in the dream i call him ethan,

not dream-ethan. he is real as

fungus. he sweats and i stop to lap it up,

lovingly, knowing it means he can

exert himself. dreams cannot

exert themselves)

                                and i am also a horse. i love you like a horse loves

another horse: without metaphors or language.

with hooves and wild breathing.

remember this:

the way i moved,

those lips i found here, the way i asked

for forgiveness

     when i’d tickle your feet- the way i’d trim your beard-

i could die here,

just here, hairs dripping spit-like from

those miracles you swear are only lips

(i know they’re

more than flesh, baby. in the dream you can’t hide it.

 no, in the dream (the one where i’m married to ethan hawke)

everything is more than

flesh: my eyeballs are coal pieces. all the yards of my

skin? givenchy gowns. my heart a bubble of soap, suspended,

floating in air

until it finally can’t resist the tension and decides to explode

(about as long as a kiss with you,

dream-ethan. about as long as the life of a mayfly)).

and yes, every second of this is fantasia,

but i just don’t seem to care anymore.

i dream so i can move at all tomorrow morning.

i dream because in the dream, i do not look away from ethan hawke

to check my phone for the latest death toll.

in the dream i’ve got a family i can speak to.

in the dream i inherited nothing but this jawline, this mustache.

i dream because in the dream you love me, and that love

does not get followed home by a lurching, muscled

golem, with a tongue that wraps itself too tightly

around the body. 

i dream to love the body.

i dream so i can wake up



i wake up smiling,

the sunlight streaming in,

then rivering,

then lakeing: a

placidness. a calm.

i glide to the kitchen. i make dream-ethan hawke

a cup of arabic coffee, which he sips at the table

while i read him a poem.

that’s lovely, darling, dream-ethan hawke tells me, kisses me on the


and in the dream, a river surges through me and does

not split me

in two.

i collapse like a candy wrapper, drawn tighter than a drum,

moments away from springing back

to life.

i sink into the sunlight,

floating on my back in a lake

made of warmth.



Fargo Tbakhi (he/him) is a bi, Palestinian-american performer and writer in phoenix, arizona. his work has been published in Maudlin House, Ghost City Review, and Cotton Xenomorph, and is forthcoming from The Ellis Review, Crab Fat Magazine and Cosmonauts Avenue. he tweets @youknowfargo.