I wake thinking of my mother, just as with every morning, no matter the haze or the rain, no matter the cold, I wake with the birds outside the window and air chilled taut seeping through the crack, I wake thinking of my mother though I hadn’t dreamed of her. I dreamed instead of a bulbous tree root, rotting yet strong, predictable, nothing exceptional other than its existence, a bulbous tree root deep in the ground where a faint seedling hatched long ago, springing upward toward the world of light and air, a seedling burst open like a cellular flame into the high day. On my right hand is a scab and I don’t remember how or when the wound was received and yet there it is, about the size of a small coin, scaly and maroon by the light of the window in morning repose. I lick the scab and it is dry and salty, its saline scales bulbous like the tree root of my dream, bulbous and asymmetrical. I pick at the scab, I study it, I try to understand. Is not the human body remarkable? Does not the world seem as though it were made for man alone?
I wake thinking of my mother and continue thinking of her until I force myself up out of bed with the birds singing somewhere outside, bleeping, chanting, a coded gesture of communion, I force myself up out of bed and to the desk, looking down at it, the clutter of papers and three books, all rented from the library and thoroughly read, my current notepad nearly full of words, a glass of water from last night, just a few hours ago, an apparition, myself a walking apparition. I think of my mother just as I do each morning despite not having dreamed of her and I don’t know what to believe, none of us really knows what to believe, we’re all apparitions, or the memories we so tightly clutch are all apparitions. Apparitions of apparitions. This desk, the books and notepad, the finger-smeared glass of water, this is my life. This is my life now as I know it. I sigh and sit down to write, the chair so familiar beneath me: