Dark room. A bed like a cot. Blankets, I presume? On my back, naked, my hair longer than it is now. Someone I do not know approaches, I only see their arms and what they’re carrying in the dark, no face, or voice or sound. He or she puts a naked infant on my ribs and leaves. He is not interested in nursing and has no need to cry. I can feel the skin of his skin on my ribs and belly. He curls up just a little and sleeps. He only wants to sleep, and so he does.
I am walking down the road that leads from my father’s house to the main road. The sky is pale and getting lighter by the second. It’s not the sun rising but the moon. The moon has risen from the wrong direction in the sky, and it is enormous. It should not be this close to us. Craters and seas are plainly visible. I am frightened by this enormous white, pockmarked plate in the sky. I take the phone out of my back pocket, and I spend too long trying to frame it. When my finger finally finds the button and clicks, the sky goes full dark. The moon is gone.
When I walk like a cat over my neighbor’s apartment, is every footstep taken with purpose? Does everything I put in my body have value to my body, all that I eat and drink? Is every breath nourishing, or are they only half-breaths, or breath-holding, forgetting the long, long path of chi? Does everything I write have value, if not meaning? What was its purpose? Was it worth waking up in the dark when the world was still sleeping to see an orange rose come into the sky, to brew a cup of coffee and hear nothing but stillness in the bedroom? When did the courtyard lights go out? I was too busy writing the dreams to have noticed. The refrigerator hums, a cardinal is peeping, I can find everything in my house with my eyes closed and cross the floor in the dark without stumbling. If only the ringing in my ears would go away, but since that’s not gonna happen, guess I’d better fill the air with the sounds of dish washing.