Three men emerged from darkness and walked to the edge of the wood, the scent of roses rising all around them. The moon hung like a broken jaw above the Memphis night. The schoolyard lay ahead, its wood fence disjointed and leaning. The fetid scent of wet grass, of mold and moss, floated on the evening wind from the bayou.
Thistle stood with her back to him, all curve and joy, a plum-skinned promise of delight. He tried to follow her, but his feet wouldn’t move. With each step forward he kept stumbling backward, as if his body wanted, needed to withdraw every footstep, to retrace their path under that lone glimmering star.
That night I dreamed my room was alive. The walls, the doors, the ceiling pulsed and heaved as if they were flesh and breath. The room rattled like the tail of a snake. In the night, dark as the inside of an eyelid, I willed myself awake, refused to sleep for fear I would dream the dream again.