Under my desk, head against wall, limbs folded in heaps on the floor, I open my eyes. (My body, it seems, migrated here last night.) Fingers are tangled in cords and computer wires. In my dream, the dream from which I am still awaking, those same fingers are tangled in the geometries of a vast chain link fence. I have been climbing this fence and am about to navigate the tricky crest of concertina wiring. Behind me: fog, memory, catastrophic dust. Before me: lush clarity, waters reflecting azure skies, wilderness of strange azaleas and stranger gazelles, futurescape into which I would plunge from the top of the fence — diving in alien gravity — and out of which I would emerge in the form of a tree.

I have no right to such sanctuary. It is not mine. It is not yet. But for a moment in a dream, a dream on the morning of my 38th birthday, it feels — it felt — as though the DMZ in Korea might welcome me back.

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Seo-Young Chu

Seo-Young Chu teaches at Queens College, CUNY. She wonders if metaphors dream of literal sleep. Some of her work can be found here: https://www.behance.net/seoyoungchu