i. the dream of disembodied birds: they came in through some opening some vent outside the house and before they came in you could hear them a soft noise when the drier wasnt drying or music wasnt playing the soft noise that said we are existing here too. theyd come inside and youd wakeup early one morning and find feathers and feathers and birdshit sometimes youd still find the bird slamming itself into the glass asking desperately can i become free here? theyd slam and slam and slam never breaking the glass but trying hard to their frail bodies trying hard to their last breath trying hard to. sometimes youd find them dead already, feathers and feathers and birdshit better proof of their existence then they ever were.
ii. the dream of backward to the beginning of time: from his hospital bed my uncle tells me of his first cigarette and i imagine this will be me some day the same wild blue eyes focusing on something intangible the same cough the same pinched up pasty skin the iv the long scar the hard rectangle. i imagine me with failing black lungs with frail pulse me with hard body racking coughs. he doesnt remember who gave him his first and i imagine this will happen to me i wonder if ill be sad if ill be ambivalent if ill regret. without knowing why i imagine ill die here i imagine ill silently blame you. ill ask myself why would he-? i wont ask why did i-?
iii. the dream of the earth staying warm without the sun:sweltering summer heat pressed against the neat rows of houses cul-de-sacs flower boxes. i crawled out my window it was dark like closed eyes thick like a james joyce novel. i let my dreams take over disarrayed in the hot soil bare peachflesh breaking the patterns of dark dark dark. the only star was the one around my neck the only movements i invented i orchestrated. if you were here id pluck you like an apple from a tree thick with apples if you were here this wouldnt be so strange but it could be stranger if you were here id understand how the earth can stay so warm without the sun i wouldnt look to it for warmth. i wouldnt need its warmth.
iv. the dream of something familiar in a new place: i ate a pill for dinner a little capsule of unwavering attention put on my tongue and swallowed easy. it had been months and i forgot about hand shakes and stiff shoulders, forgot quiet mouth and unending mind. i remember that soon every day will be like this like less of a life and more of a to do list. a time restraint to control panic. curious fingertips press against my chest to soft wire to bone that rapid flutter that eager flick like something wants to get out of there like disembodied birds slamming into windows.
v. the dream of telling you three things:
one: i can see it in the dusty old photographs of my grandmothers sister long dead and the way our smiles stretch so familiar. reflected in your face is your fathers face and so on until you begin not to recognize these reflections they are animals two by two by two and so on until the face of god? a closed circuit of being created in an image of an image of an image. the way you recognize parts of yourself in strangers. the starters of a fire we suffered from our love is the affliction for which only our love is the cure.
two: love as real as culture money and language are real. love as real as the affliction as real as the cure.
three: your shoes untied.
vi. the dream of in and of itself: as though i was the roots of twisted trees bucking through concrete branches dripping low over streets like dalis slippery reality you came beneath me and rested a while smoked a cigarette drank from a flask. i showed you the scars on my feet my chest my forearms and your read them like braille stories of my bad choices. if this skin could talk the mantras i need would repeat themselves on peachflesh you wont be here forever you can escape here you can become free here. when i hear nothing from the trees for so long i cease to believe in the trees. when i hear nothing from the birds i cant believe in the birds. when i hear nothing from you for so long i cease to believe in you.