Jessai Flores

Jessai Flores

White trucks shoot through the bridge at night. My house floats behind us, a golden fruit in the refrigerator of the neighborhood. I really wanna stop thinking like this! My radio dials on repeat. I stumble into form, where you are already there, sitting in the driver’s seat on the Golden Gate Bridge. Your face opens like a blade: two halves of a shell, opening to speak. The car whirls wider than the bridge can break; the red is merciless. Where does a girl go when she is dreaming? Her body remains in that car, pressed like a leaf to the cold. Her eyes are standing outside, peering over the bridge, undressing to slip into the bay. Your mouth ventriloquizes to the radio, words urging the waves. I do not remember how you really sound, I reason with myself. In dreams like these I’m yearning to drive away from you, but blushrug unfurls, a neutron of scentless gaze pinning me here with the cold. All I hear: the canal of an ear flooded with blackwater, gravitating through the blind. All I see, the San Francisco Bay’s deep black pressing me into an arrowhead which pierces the surface, grows green with algae and refuses to sleep, refuses to lean away. Where does a girl go when she is dreaming? I want to break your face in half and hear nothing but the whistle of the water.

There are songs I can only listen to while thinking about you, books that remind me of that golden red haze. On the couch waiting for you to call, “The White Album” by Joan Didion: the politics of water. In my sleep, I trace your hands, the Sol LeWitt-like paper disintegration of your knuckles floating disembodied from yourself. Black dots hover, midhorizon, noise smashed into the temporary pauses between our words. Water molecules beat against the thin membrane of your fingers.

It is like watching a car try to enter a city at night. It snuffles, trembles, headlights, hesitating to raise the hood on the much larger vehicle of the city itself. I jolt into my garage past 12, drive past the coast at night, wonder if I am still dreaming, but everything shivers beneath my fingers here. I am talking about the scene in my sleep where we are jostled and our vision is cut by the tapesquare of the windshield, the provisional, bandaged arms of our car’s high beam sweeping aside the dry sea of bushes into strains of platinum gold, just for a moment, trembling. You don’t know what I mean but what I mean is the hydrogens feel this way around the oxygens, floating towards the little crackling electrons but never able to approach the city for what it is instead of what they see, to leave it as they found it, to pocket it without arraigning the molecules of my vision anew. Surface tension of this water, unthinking and bowed to the great god of the spinning Mars in your mind, all through the taut cords of your body, snapping.

There is nothing in life that can derail you any more than a car rerouting through a mountain in its own delirium. On the contrary, Murakami once wrote that there is nothing in your life that never takes a step beyond your heart.

Sarah Feng is an associate editor for the Yale Daily News Magazine. Originally from the San Francisco Bay Area, she is a first-year in Trumbull College majoring in English and Cognitive Science.