• Gastropoda

In the Small Corners of Overlapping Dreams by Jenny Wong

His dream begins in an eagle’s nest upon which he sits alone to be poked by sticks and discarded quills. The sun is a single flame, horizon-wide, that smolders towards him. Overhead, smoke signals scrawl brief language across the sky. In front of him is a desert of black and white. Newspaper clippings. A seabed of messages unsent. Papers torn and scissored into small but readable pieces. They rustle and whisper like a forest of dry leaves. He hasn’t seen his daughter since she was a child, since her mother determined that hills were better than home. He can’t remember her exact age anymore. The number ‘24’ catches his eye, inked in red, and he wonders where his daughter is now. He never wanted them to leave. And now, he waits for the sun to creep closer, for a tongue of heat to kiss his skin, for his body to fall from its perch and become another dead letter among the ash

h

h

h

her

dream begins with a tree. The bark is pale. The trunk is as thick as a girl’s thigh. The tree knows that to grow, it must split itself smaller and smaller as it reaches out into the world. Branches become twigs. Tender ends twist into thin wicks. It is autumn now. So, the wicks are lit with small flames that glimmer in reds and golds. In her hand is a silver cup. She looks up at the tree with its crown of tiny pyres. When she covers the first, a word hisses out in her mother’s voice. Leave. There is a story hidden in the tips of this tree and she must extinguish each one to hear it. But before she can cup another with silver and hear what causes it to twist and flicker, a gust of wind swirls up. The topmost fires are carried away. She wonders what secrets she’s missed, wonders where they will land and what things

they will set aflame

e

e

e

e

This dream e

ends with a spark that dies with the opening of an eye. An old man crosses a dawn-lit lawn. A body of paper-thin skin over matchstick bones. Sprinklers toss droplets of water at his feet. The sun holds itself at the same distance it always has, with nothing to burn but the words it keeps to itself.



 

JENNY WONG is a writer, traveler, and occasional business analyst. Her favorite places to wander are Tokyo alleys, Singapore hawker centers, and Parisian cemeteries. Recent publications include Briefly Zine, Splonk! and Janus Literary. She resides in the foothills of Alberta, Canada and tweets @jenwithwords.


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