The drum in a dream
pounds loud to the dreamer.
The moon is a fire drum polishing the anthracite sky in silent booms. She stands before a steel cage that holds this week’s exhibit. A white bear with muzzle of frost. Cold blue light crackles around its spirit pelt. The sheer bulk of the bear punches through her chest and leaves a cavelike hole that sucks her through herself into the bowels of the earth. Still, she watches her hand, the silver key strobing in the starlight, as it stretches forward and unlocks the door. There is a long moment of dead silence after the solitary click. She turns to run and is frozen by the sheer volume of bear roars. The bellow whirls her around to face the bear just as it strikes out and slaps the top of her skull off. It’s a skull juggler. Her scalp flaps away into the night. Before the woman can fall, the bear sinks its massive jaws deep into her chest and begins to chew her; smacking and crunching, it rips the flesh from her bones. A bear hungry as fire licking her bone dry and white under the taut moon drum. She is screaming and screaming, horribly conscious of all the pain, the black blood and grayish fat flying in moonlight, as the bear rends her alive. The bear stands full height and roars, its muzzle frozen with crystallized gore. A small ivory chip of a bone seed spins slowly on the black ice. It reverses direction, spins faster, and explodes once again into a woman clothed in flesh.
She bolts upright with a sharp intake of breath. Slaps her palms against her chest. Sheets of moonlight fall through the window on the cream-colored Pendleton blanket. Her husband stirs beside her. “What is it?”
“Horrible,” she gasps, feeling her flesh, brown hands covering her naked self, feeling light-headed, newborn.