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Volume 3 Number 2 • Fall 2011

S.J. Dunning

Smoker's Dream

I move through a river toward a deep cove I remember only when I near it. I take a breath and go under, a free-dive, and I'm gliding toward the bottom, eyes closed, arms reaching, a gentle current pushing me. I can hear my pulse: This is the way back to everything. When I wake, I gasp, coming up for air, my sheets kicked into ripples.

It's recurring.

Once I saw an apple core that resembled a pair of lungs. The two lobes where the seeds had fallen out were wet and bright, and the vertical line where the stem had been rose up between them, tracheal. I dipped the specimen into a pool of paint and pressed it lightly onto a paper plate: a blue t-shirt upon white sheets, a torso, a splash, that deep place I swim toward in a dream.

S.J. Dunning is an MFA candidate in nonfiction at the University of Idaho. Other publications include "Wu Wei", an essay published in Pif Magazine, "I Want",? a poem forthcoming from Flyway, and "for(e)closure", an essay forthcoming from Creative Nonfiction (selected as winner of Creative Nonfiction's 2010 MFA Program-off contest).

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