First, a vivid dream.
I had gone to a place where I work to take a bath, but there was competition there for water and even the space to cleanse self. The men – I don’t know who they were – were demanding access to water before me, though I was explaining that I needed to go to school to lead. Rather than fight them and waste time, I went to another place where a friend was working and tried to get some time and space and water to bathe. It was something like a small Quik Mart that had already opened, so I had to ask the customers to leave so that I could roll out a tub in one of the aisles and pour water into it. I did not ask myself, in this dream, why it was that this was necessary. I just wanted to be cleansed to go to school.
I knew that my work was in high schools and also at a university.
I abandoned this idea of bathing in the convenience school to go home, and home was the childhood house where there were still rows of tall trees on Lindbergh. I took a small scooter in rain and realized as a I attempted to go down a one way street that the streets had changed. I no longer belonged in this space.
Instead of going to the school I had been trying to become presentable for, I decided to go to a martial arts – I think it was jujitsu and capoeira – to learn within that community. On the way, I saw a colleague to whom I had explained my focus on cleansing myself as wanting to go school. In seeing him, I had to explain: I decided to go home again and go to different school for a different aim. He, himself, was preparing for his work outside of being an academic, his work as a teacher in a martial arts school. He invited me to take the class.
While he was preparing to make a meal for the class to eat afterward to which he invited me, his wife, Pilar, greeted me. My hair was longer, and I was welcome. She was pregnant with what would be their third child. It was a hot day.
One of the students greeted me with Happy Desert Day, and I asked them what that meant as, it seemed, I had just moved to the area. I instantly just knew: the waters had receded and dried and all but a few places such as this homeplace experienced soil erosion, shifting sands, loss of life. Desertification.
I woke then, thinking of how this aligns to my poetic work right now.