And the rest of us, watching.
The jumping spiders are dreaming. You can tell because the babies have translucent skin. Watch the eyes behind it, back and forth. Notice the twitching legs.
What are they doing? One of us asks. The theory is that they are trying to make sense. Whatever they dream about, it may help them jump better when they wake. It may help with direction, takeoffs, landings. Which, we have to admit, is more than any of us can say about our spider dreams.
The birds are doing it, too, another observes. Watch the feathers, how they twitch on drooping heads. The sleeping cephalopods turn wild colors, sending signals with urgency.
What we are wondering seems uncouth to ask. But chances are that there is one in any given assembly who is relatively immune to propriety, so we wait for the silence to break.
Do you think they see us? Says the one, When they . . .?
No answer is forthcoming. In the next hush, we notice that it isn’t clear which answer we want. In the long quiet that follows, we sleep.
Inspired by Carolyn Wilke’s recent Knowable article on emerging research into the REM sleep patterns of various creatures.
An atmospheric river pours dreams through the night, drenching our words and pooling at our feet. One takes us in its boat, drops us, picks us up again, evades us in its thrall and escapes upon waking. We spend so much of each ride asking how it will end, and will it? And what if it won’t? Until we end up beginning again.
When the end escapes us, where are we? Climbing through spirals of remembrance, children at a playground, one and another occasionally stuck, fallen, left out, carried away. The arrangement shifts constantly, like mountain weather.
From here, we cut swaths of sky for new wings. Once lifted, we rain intentions into our shadows, raising the tides against the impact of the next one to drop from these clouds.
When chimera feathers fall.
Guards at the gate confiscating dreams demand our reasons for wrapping them to chests. Why this one? And this? But messengers, like so many winged creatures, are stunted in captivity, and we watched the feathers fall. With those forevers beyond language, how much of our time? Now muted by motion and moved, the assembly of permanent particles dispersed again.