Sleep: clicked escape of then and gone, backed up to spring up in the slight twinge. Lush, bottom-of-the-well moss creeping over stony steps as the sun falls under the hill; it keeps growing in the shade. But in the dark of dream there’s the wedding day cousin’s chest poke running knuckle deep through the sternum, happening in pause between cricket legs’ chattery emissions flexed out at the heart. Quiver death in the assassin breeze shoving a pillow over a meadow tree, those branches still chirping.
Dreams live there, under that tree. And the warblings don’t communicate, they echo. Inside a hollowed pocket, a family of mice hides and hopes for winter to pass soon. One of them has a tingle of a Spanish accent on a Samoan face with a dress—topped off by this tight stretch of the boxers in fabric friction and, soon, it’s not a mousy tree but a fifth-grade classroom. You’re approached by your reflection naked in the locker room mirror. The shower sprays the chalkboard washing off the digits. It all feels so real as the squeaking M. Butterfly from Pago Pago reaches south, water streams down your neck. Bodies surround but you are alone if you want to be.
…Comes the thunderous domino buckle turning over the covers, the ducky face of pursed lips holding back. Drool smear dampens the right cheek, leaving stains like unfinished salt dumplings on the pillow between two branches, rooted inside, feeling so good inside. Thundercat plays on shuffle. The fading of his beard against yours, revolving like Davidian ring-around-the-rosy. The comforter is black, the Tide marker’s useless.
Gillick is from Virginia