Fever Dreams

1.

Her body floating spread-eagled in a pool of water tinged a bloody orange by the dying light. Her eyes like marble, cold and opaque. Popping, staring straight up at the darkening sky. It begins to drizzle. The raindrops falling into a million ripplings, dancing against her fingertips. The rain like mercury spilling into her dull gray eyes, swirling into one color, like poisoned milk.

2.

Dawn chorus rousing the late October morning, cool and breezy. Soft sunlight kissing the potted roses in the balcony. A book lying supine on already rumpled sheets. A plate of deviled eggs and crusty pugon-baked bread on the table. By the French windows, you, sipping hot tea. “These mornings are made for reading,” I say, burrowing under the covers with the book. Drawing the curtains back, you place the teacup on the tray. “Well then,” you say, like a cat purring, “love me and I will fill all your days with poetry.”

3.

We lie under the bed, my friend and I, with time and shrapnel stoppering her heart. “Wait with me,” she says, holding my hand, “until my blood dries up.” I do, keeping still as they continue to bomb our city. I’ve grown deaf to the explosions and the sirens. I hear only the sound of the phone ringing, though who would call us, I can’t imagine. I pick up after a while, whispering, hello, she’s dead, and let the receiver clatter on the floor. I crawl to the window and peek through the blinds, watching dust motes in the shifting light. Hundreds of planes, like paper cranes, catch and open fire in the pastel-hued daybreak sky, painting the horizon red. My room is blue, the bed low, but not so low that I can’t fit under it. Falling debris quake the earth. I quiver.

4.

A day of walking along the Great Wall of China, carrying only a water bottle, an umbrella, and a lomo camera.

A week in the edges of a Shinto temple halfway up a mountain in Kyoto—sweeping the yard, drawing water from the well, listening to monks chanting.

A month of waitressing in a red-brick café in Bologna, after comp lit classes at UNIBO.

5.

You! Slap plaster over this broken open crypt. I do not want the corpses fouling up the air. Seal out that sliver of moon, showing through a crack in the ceiling. Seal it up! Shutter the windows. Lock the door. Will day be dark and air stale? Yes! And quiet.

6.

“…reaved urn in the old house in Talisay.”

7.

Lips trailing on skin as smooth as a mango peel, and smelling as sweet. The lingering scent of breakfast: coffee and caramel. Flesh soft as down. Hair wet with dew, fresh from the shower (green apple and grape). On the pillow, trace of patchouli.

8.

Found during a diving expedition in a shipwreck under the sea: a seal-like creature with jewels along its sagittal crest and a spine lined with crowns of prismatic glass on a silvery furcoat. A chest of 148 books, each containing a forgotten folk tale. A woman sleeping in the log cabin, surrounded by seaweeds and barnacles and eerie green light.

9.

A day of no emails.

10.

A midnight heist, 1920s film noir style. Three slick villains with a vagabond and his daughter. Full moon light, old mansion. The teenage girl and a handgun. A woman in a negligee, awoken by a full bladder. A startled shot. Black blood on silver and hand-me-down lace, splattered on a head of blonde curls and a pale face. A locket. Revelations. Once again a motherless child.

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