Thursday, January 28, 2010


A Fable

While the boy slept,
he crawled out of his body.
He stood at the foot of his bed,
watching the blue quilt lift and lower
with his breaths.
The boy stared at his own closed eyelids.
They looked like pale seashells in the dark.

Moonlight made his white curtains glow.
The bedroom was a lightbulb,
and the little boy was inside, at its center.

Before walking downstairs in his nighttime life,
the boy wanted to see his brother asleep.

His brother always slept with a fan.
As the boy nudged the door open,
he heard the fan whispering, Shhhh as it stirred the air.
His brother stayed in his bed, in his body.

By now, the boy was lonely.
He padded down the dark stairs
without turning on the light.

He found his dog's dreambody
waiting at the bottom of the stairs.

The dog had left his body curled up under the piano,
one paw near a pedal, tail twitching around the leg of the bench.

Am I having a dream, Eli?
The boy asked, for that was his dog's name.
Eli told the boy,
Some of us, while we're asleep, can walk outside our bodies. We like the sounds of night, of everyone else asleep. This is one way to dream.
The boy asked Eli,
What's it like, to be a dog?
Eli told the boy,
The world floods over you in smells and sounds. You want to taste it all. And people stand tall above you. You are always looking up at them.
The boy wondered if he could try that dog life out. Maybe he could climb into Eli's body, sleeping under the piano.
Can we trade bodies, Eli? The boy asked.

Because he was a good dog,
Eli herded the boy toward the piano.
Climb in through my mouth,
Eli told the boy.
As the boy stepped into the dog's warm mouth,
he suddenly felt scared. How would he climb back out?
Eli told the boy,
Stay in there as long as you want. No matter how long you stay in my dog body, when you wake up, you will always be back in yours. This is one way to dream.

So the boy climbed past Eli's sharp teeth,
into the tunnel of his throat.
To be a dog feels like being tucked in under warm, heavy covers.
The boy tried to stay awake as long as possible, tried to hold on to this feeling of being a dog, of being outside his body and his quiet, nighttime life, but the more he tried to absorb, to memorize, the more he forgot where he was, and soon sleep overtook him, pulling him back into his body like water being soaked up by a sponge.


  1. Beautiful fable! Thank you! (And the image was a pleasant surprise.)

  2. Where's the rest of the novel, the unwinding story? I want more! Waaaa.

    Your writing casts a spell. And I am mesmerized. Will there be a Part 2??

  3. Loved "This is one way to dream." You'd be the perfect person to write about the other ways.


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