a curious dream:
we climb a bone-bruising mountain, you and me, you walking ahead with your finger on the trigger in case we surprise a bear, me in the rear bashing the scrub with a stick to scare off rattlers. when we get to the top we are sick with exhaustion and pain and cold but in the darkness we make out a burping hot spring. there is no-one around so we strip naked and ease our stinging bodies into its black warmth. then, from the shadows a small japanese woman emerges in the water, humming softly, and a man too; he is playing a bamboo pan pipe. there is a gibbous moon and a million stars and i lean my head against a rock pillow and bats fly so low overhead i could grab one, and we watch a lightening storm roll on in over the valley and there is pure silence bar the thunder and the sweet sad fluted notes of old anime theme songs. soon the lightening gets too close so we dry off with a sarong and scramble back up the rock to our tent. just as we zip up the fly the sky breaks open and our flimsy shelter is hammered but we are dry and when the cracks in the universe light up our tiny canvas home i can see your recently split head, scrunched and beanie-d and perfect. i fall into half sleep wishing i could have taken a photograph of this night, but knowing that upon developing, starry spring water would have inked onto the parchment, vignetting its edges into obscurity, and there would surely have been light-leakage from the moon, blowing out everything in the centre of frame, and we would have been left with a spoiled snapshot of a reversely-exposed black hole, where once this scene had been.
*in the morning they awake sore and shattered and they scramble back down the mountain in silence, both aware that they dreamed this curious dream in tandem, with eyes wide open, at the height of full consciousness. they laugh when they get back down to earth, at the absurdity of it all, and put it down to the thinness of the mountain air, and the strength of the vapours arising from that strange volcanic pool.