Dream 717

by nicolecallihan

In the dream, Eva was floating in the water and saying, Lullaby, lullaby, lullaby. Lullaby? I said, because I was so surprised she was speaking. Lullaby! And so I sang about bottles of wine and shining diamonds and cradles rocking. For months, I’ve been trying to get K. to have a baby too (They smell like apples! I say. And they make you see your world like you’re standing on your head!), but I think she wants to write instead. Sometimes, I think she’s right: that you can’t do both, or even if you can, you can’t do both well. These days, I can’t even remember all the words to a lullaby. Right now, Eva’s napping fitfully in this too-warm room; later, I’ll point out letters to her. A for apple; B for blue. Mama loves letters, I tell her, because letters make words. And mama loves words, I say, almost more than anything. But it’s always Eva I return to: my love for her. I know there will come a time when we don’t consume each other so completely, but, at this moment, I can’t imagine it. And this is a C, I say, and D is for dream, and E is for you, little bird. As if all the letters aren’t for her; as if, these days, I’d even be able to recognize the shape of my own name if I didn’t have her near, couldn’t still smell her on me, couldn’t turn my head and find her resting, finally, more peacefully; the fan (F is for fan!) doing its work on this thick, hot day.