In the dream, there is a forest dying of thirst and the land is wailing in the ancient language of stones and stars and all the things that hold heat, and my body knows that language. I run my fingers through your hair and they become flame, racing up the redwoods and down into the city with crimson wings, tracing the outline of all our lives with their heat. The smoke is so thick I am lost in it, stumbling madly through the fire-lit trees, searching for the sky and finding myself like an ember in your mouth, smoldering along the edges of the night as the fire moves its way through me, the moon blooming steady in the distance while the city falls in on itself, the earth becoming ash, our bodies becoming ash and mixing with the ash of the earth, patterns emerging in the mountains and fields of endless black soot resembling forests, rivers, cities, my fingers in your hair as they burst into flame.


The moon comes up full and I’m drunk again on the sidewalks of heaven, arms and mouth filled with a bitter wind. There’s this dream I keep having where my mother walks the same stretch of railroad tracks over and over, dragging her heels along the iron, and how all the stars look from up here. How I could imagine I’m an astronaut and all the planets are labeled with giant neon signs flickering “HOME! HOME!” and the streets of heaven are paved with grass. This one leading down to the avenue of despair, that one rolling through the fields of infinite loneliness. And that last one winds its way through a valley and into a forest in the west. I lost myself in those trees. I wonder if I’ll ever come back.