I woke up and was glad it was cold enough that I'd layered all my quilts on.
thick and heavy shield between me and the world.
it was still dark.
I didn't know how to move in the world
still with fear of it, baffled and scared by the thought of looking at my phone.
I could not think it through until twelve hours later,
the day consumed with an uneasy desire to talk to my mom.
I had been in an unfamiliar apartment, but not unlike the one I grew up in.
lavish, clean, my mother loading and unloading from the washing machine.
Fighting with my family and waiting for them as we packed to go on a journey
a journey to another floor.
finally I huffed off and left without them- both impatient and in in legitimate haste to beat some unknown threat.
I travelled up some flights in an unassuming elevator without them
sped from floor to floor- both familiar and unfamiliar.
The angles of my vision shift rapidly, like speeding through the spaces.
one was a rec-hall of sorts. a series of carpeted, friendly instituational rooms.
kids playing everywhere, I knew them.
I mediated small fights but slipped from situation to situation.
to protect myself
some ticking time bomb, that feeling of urgency, of fear.
The last floor, the top, was at once indoors and a sundeck
like a resort, all of these vibrant young folks lazing about in bathing suits, posing dramatically, complaining:
"oh this place. it's a phony load of shit. it's an awful place. a prison, a fucked up trap, a tragedy, a scam"
the sense of creepy grew, and
I decided to leave and go downstairs.
At the very first floor, an empty glass lobby, small, clean but not ornate. two doors with long concrete ramps.
On the left, the exit: "once you leave you may not come back"
On the right, the entrance: "once you enter you may not leave"
I walked out without much thought, but then
watched two very small latino children skip out, thoughtlessly wander past the exit line.
They cross the street and I see a boardwalk, like coney island.
The children giggled as they crossed and in an instant
careened over a cliff edge that suddenly appeared
I could see them split open and bloody, immediately dead.
Their mother was only a few feet beyond the exit line when they flung themselves over the edge
she broke down in tears instantly on the floor.
The last image I saw was this woman on the concrete weeping, collapsed to the floor.
My mind's eye turned to the entrance that she could not return to
and I woke up.