I dreamed I was wading barefoot down a river that led to the sea. I walked through knee-high reeds on stones contoured to the arches of my feet while guppies orbited my legs. I walked through a valley shrouded in fog, as the trees around me loosed their pine needles. I waded through water that continued to rise until I was wading neck-deep. Then the water rose over my head, and I held my breath and swam. My vision blurred, and I closed my eyes. When I came up for air, I was in the ocean and could not see land. Floating around me were objects. I saw a Ziploc bag with chocolates inside. Tangles of uprooted grass knotted together. Empty shaved ice cones. A violin bow. A Simon and Garfunkel album. And a photograph of a boy I used to know tied to a lawn chair beside the pool. I thought, What is this? The refuse of my past?
And I saw a hard-covered book that I didn’t recognize. I swam over and opened it. Inside, flattened by the damp pages, was a moth. When I picked the moth up, its wings fell apart.