they're coming apart...

They're coming apart... The worlds...

Last night — or this morning, rather, just before dawn — I dreamt I was at a banquet with all my dearest ones. A celebration, a reunion, long overdue. We sat around the big table in the parlor upstairs, that stood like an altar on the dais, where speakers gave their lectures in this ruin's former life.

It had been so long since we were all together, I was bursting with love for them, I could hardly bear to keep silent and still, I longed so to gather them in my arms, crush every one of them to my chest — you know the feeling, you can't ever get them close enough — but of course I couldn't do that, it would have been unseemly, embarrassing to them, even if they felt the same about me, and not all of them did, I was pretty sure.

The easiest way to express what happened next would be to say, "When I woke up, I could still feel them with me." But that's not what happened. What happened is that nothing happened that isn't happening all the time: I didn't wake up; I'm the same man now that I was in the dream; the dream didn't end. I got up from my bed (such as it is); I wrapped my blanket around me and climbed what's left of the stairs, edging around the great hole where the floor's collapsed, and crept into the same room I was dreaming about, that's not even a room any more, filled with rubble and trash and open to the rain and snow and wind, to the sun and the moon and the whole damn sky every moment from now until there isn't a room anywhere — and they were still there with me: they'd come up the stairs with me, inched down the hall with me; they were with me all the time.

Do you see what I'm saying? In the "world" where these words I'm writing will remain, now, at the time I'm writing them, my Dear Ones are all dead — or good as, all lost Last Ones like me, dust in the wind, sand on the beach, salt in the sea.

But they never left me. Once each one took up lodging in my breast, in the place where a heart ought to be, he never left, she's still there: they *are* my heart. Honey in the chest. The sweetest ache there is.


I must be dying.