Noisy Neighbors


The piercing whistle snaps me awake. Full-moon ice glow floods the bedroom sapping color and setting the mood for ghosts and unsettled spirits. I hold my breath, listening.

In the space before breathing, on the razor-sharp edge between horror and peace, the air around me vibrates with potential. For just a moment Trump hasn’t refused Japanese food in favor of a well-done American burger, or defended white supremacy, or grabbed another woman’s genitalia, or lied. Fracking pauses. All of Congress dreams of doing right by people. Ski lift tickets are free. The boxes surrounding me and scattered through the house lurk in shadows—less tasks facing me than sentries guarding me from gorgons. I don’t have papers to grade. I’m not behind in my writing.

I hover.

The whistle again, and this time it’s a bugle. Breathe. I don’t understand this term to describe an elk’s call except, perhaps someone listened to someone else trying to blow through a bugle and failing in squeaky eruptions. Yet there it is, just outside my window. And, beside me, my very heart stirs in his sleep.

I stand by the unfamiliar windows and look down into another realm. Alternately dark and light, the cold-gray invites winter faeries and goat-footed fauns from their hiding places. Flat, yet alight as if the moon rises from within, the smooth snow emits its own energy. I can reach my hand through the glass and brush against this alternate universe. I feel the silky frozen air between my fingers looking down on the scene.

The elk steps directly below these windows. Below my form. Below my reaching fingers.  Regal movements lifting his knees above the snow, he is both natural perfection and Claymation or computer-generated imagery.

With one last bugle, he stalks towards the other forms, tantalizing females seductively pawing through the ice. They drift into the pines mere ghosts—spirit smoke.

In moving, you never know if you’ll have noisy neighbors.

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