This poem required a lot of fiddling for something of its length. I originally wrote it without any contractions at all, because I was being (perhaps overly) emphatic. Looking over it, I decided only a few of those words really needed it.
The poem is written like a response, as if speaking to whoever’s made that demand–to own your dreams.
* * *
I won’t crack my skull
and spill my dreams into your pocket
They don’t belong there
They do not belong to you
So what if they’re lost?
If they leak out during the night —
dry into a crust I rub from my eyes
it’s my loss
If it’s meant to be
they will sidle out like fickle cats —
flirt with my hands before surrendering
to curl onto the open page