Tuesday, May 12, 2009

A casual swim begins in calm, blue waters. First I’m alone. Then I hear others laughing and splashing. The waters expand. In the distance there’s a small rocky island. I start swimming toward the island, but then a breeze comes up and the current pulls me off course toward a cliff. At the edge of the cliff is a black road; beyond and far below is where the ocean begins. A fog settles in. I feel a sense of panic. Then it lifts and somehow I can see under it and over it, but not through it. Now the stars are out. I’m walking on the road. I hear my brother’s voice. He and his wife are in a cave with pale walls. They’re waiting for me with a small fire and a meal of bread and cheese and wild greens. Before I take any, I realize that I’m holding a key. When I look up, it’s daylight again and I’m facing a locker on a busy street corner. But before I can open the locker, I have to empty out my mother’s closet. Most of what’s in it is old and stained and doesn’t need to be saved. Then I find a familiar looking towel. I retrieve it for the locker. There’s a field of corn stubble between her closet and the street corner. While I’m crossing it, I see a young woman standing alone, her back turned toward me. She’s been crying. I don’t know who she is or why she’s unhappy. I ask her if I can help. She smiles and says it’s too late. And I think, how strange that we are standing here in a field. How beautiful and lonely and sad everything is.

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