You’re awake, then you are standing.
Then the last thing that you dreamed will unfold
its field of memory. What you touch will come
to life: a whole room sprung in the backwards words
of people untalking to you. Walking reverse with such
confidence until you reach another room. There stands
this person who is also a talisman. In the dream,
it doesn’t matter when they loved you. In the dream,
when you talk, the butterflies are orange and then blue,
and together you lead the rabble to the square where
you touch this person and then leave them. And on cue
a flock of pigeons will soon want nothing but to return
to you. And on cue the cedars become green and then
stone, this person unmaking love from you and placing
the pieces elsewhere, again, on earth. Until before that.
Until the somewhere else before you agreed to move.
Then you are language, too. Backwards words unstuck to
the dream as the dream began to happen. And the ghosts
inside the many rooms rustle nude inside the blue water.
And the ghosts inside the many rooms illuminate
the many walls.
Directed by Matthew Thompson.
From The Year of Blue Water, by Yanyi, published by Yale University Press. Copyright © 2019 Yale University Press. Reprinted by permission of Yale University Press.