Neither here or there, there are places that exist without vocabulary, tucked in the folds of space and time, hanging like prisms on a chandelier, turning in the afternoon sunlight, making rainbows on satin sheen walls.
Rainbows are curious things. They need to be pointed out. “Look! There’s a rainbow!” But then, impossible to ignore, their faces turn to stare.
“Do you see me?” he asks without moving his lips, the yellow dog at his side in the cab of the truck.
You nod and cough. The dust is in your eyes. “Yes, I do. And you?”
“Of course.” She hesitates, studying your reflection in the bathroom mirror, pausing as she brushes her black hair. “Have I met you before?”
“No, I don’t think so.” You look down at your purple satin skirt and white gloved hands. “Are we dreaming?”
“Perhaps. Yes, I believe we are,” says the man in the boat who will not meet your eyes.
“Wake up!” you cry, wanting to shake him.
“You first,” says your mother who sits in a recliner and is long dead.
And then you do wake up, but not before you see the naked girl treading water in a pink ocean, the man inside the little car that zooms through what was once subway tunnel, and the father who wears orange marigolds in his hair as he shows you drawings of a church near his childhood home.
You see these things and so much more. But of course you tell no one, for you cannot make sense of what you’ve glimpsed. These places are alien, and the laws, though familiar, are not tidy like our own.
These worlds, these dreams, these faces, these are the things you lock away.