I think I wake up, but nothing looks right. It feels like I’ve been crying, and everything around me has that heavy and cradled feeling dreams have, like the edges have blurred into some obscure point where differentiation doesn’t matter anymore. There’s a way being awake is crisp and makes a certain noise when you move through the living air, and dreams aren’t like that. A mattress there might as well be a dead body might as well be dead phone receiver. It’s not that I don’t like music in dreams. I just feel slow.
There are birds, but they might be Brad’s wrinkled shirts, and they lay close on top of one another and I remember I was crying because the way things pile up around Brad is really beautiful and he’s never going to know that. I know he was just in the room, and he pulled down all his shirts in the closet and they laid down like these sleeping birds and turned to something that meant peace was real or that all things protect one another in his world.
Then I walk away, to other rooms at home, and the same things start to happen. There’s a part where John laughs and I can see he has a gold tooth and I stop everyone laughing because it feels to me like that means he’s going to die, and I get confused about it being his funeral. I tell him I love to touch all his things, and that I’ll miss him, and I can tell no one knows what I mean, but he kisses me on the cheek, which is the same as the fields outside the house getting set on fire at the end of a cold day.
Joshua’s got all these picture books that open into black spaces where he keeps sweeping crayons, but those are his memories and he says there’s a gap between him and everything else that came before. It feels scary in his room, like he’s forgetting on purpose. The music coming from him is digital, and it's slow like it mourns itself.
It ends when me and Rosie dance with the dust bunnies in her room, but sometimes she isn’t there and I dance with them by myself. We become really cool when we do that, and very serious, but she has a pacifier in her mouth but attached to a gold chain, like girls used to have in school when we were in high school. I think she’s really cool for having one and I tell her it’s really good she’s chosen to not date anymore high school boys, and she uses it like a prop while she’s dancing.