[ the third non-death dream /// re-dreamt ] by J. A. Tyler :: excerpt from a novel-in-progress

J. A. Tyler

Us deer-brothers when we were children we stood next to one another and watched the shadows of two deer turn into one, and the way my brother’s antlers stood as my own crown.

In these woods, where we were a herd running down a river.

When I woke, my brother was standing above me holding a white paper with a black dot. The black dot meant death. When I looked up at my deer-brother he was no longer there, and I was left to live a death-dream.

In these woods, sleeping is pretending to dream and a death-dream is the loss of living, is a purgatory.

My deer-brother is there in the tree-line, watching me build and burn houses in all these failed attempts to signal him back. The foxes came and I destroyed them. One I burned and the other I skinned. The bears came and I destroyed them. One I burned and the other I spilled. The fish came and I opened them up. I was searching for a brother, a tiny deer hidden in their fish scales. There have been birds who dove down with my houses, jarring their peaks into the ground. Seven houses built and burned, seven sets of walls in mountains in skies in lakes in fields. Seven moments when I wished for a deer-brother return, and nothing happened but fire and flame.

In these woods, the trees are drying.

In these woods, as I start to believe in death.

Smoke raises to the sky and I cover my body in honey, lay in the meadows, waiting for the bears to come back .There are no bears coming back, there is no deer-brother left.

In these woods, an end is an end. This is how the end begins.

August 26, 2011 2:52 pm

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