Nights in the city I dreamed of disaster: a ceaseless flood and I was stuck on the topmost floor of tallest towers – all windows, all water, no stars, no end. Glass, all. Or riots in the zoos and they were shooting all the zebras. The rarest African rodents lay dead in the wake of the vengeful throng. Terrified, I escaped with help from the elephants, but woke forgetful, uneasy, with sudden nostalgia for a life that was never mine. The filmy hangover of dreams trailed me for days, and my wristwatch always an hour slow until the next neon night, twisted in sheets. Long past dusk I saw fields filled with rushing city crowds, bomb-threats in barns and I had to save the cows. The last night in August, sticky hot, I cut off my hands and threw them in the river. As darkness paled into September, I packed the car and drove toward the tornados; did not stop until the sickly yellow sky was split through the heart, broken by tall tunnels of prairie earth, ripped into sky and spun back to ocean.
5 September 2001