Note: Peace Corps requires all volunteers to take anti-malarial mefloquine pills, which can often produce intense dreams. Regardless, I have pretty strange dreams –and here’s a small window into what I’ve seen in these for the past 20 months.
Rainbow parachutes and bouquets of stars
(echoing the spectrum of the white sun)
rise and fall in waves of gravity like in oscilloscopes.
Fire-breathing dragons float like kites,
as the sky burns and
the world melts through a kaleidoscope.
English words are written on the walls with crayon.
Gila monsters with frightening heads appear
alongside boys I haven’t seen in awhile.
Together, we climb—balancing—holding hands,
along the cliffs of unknown canyons.
Crocodiles lurk in mud banks
beside bamboo huts playing Radiohead;
meanwhile, people in ovens bake like bread
and others take pills that are hard to swallow.
Bodies of water filled with bodies of people,
host battles between elephants and lions.
Metallic blood drips from my fingertips
indenting red ripples in blue aquarium water.
There are students I’ve met
and things that I’ve said—
negative space in the crepuscular trace
of conversations I won’t be having.
Women in jilbabs live amongst foreign men
trafficking exotic animals. Then,
there is me—awake in electric dreams—and
I am breathing fire.