It might have been a dream or I might have wakened for a while with the television on and saw a scene from a movie, but I think it was a dream because it seems improbable that a steam would flow along a shelf in the mountains like that and not veer toward some precipice. The only reason I thought it might be a scene from a movie is that it was so vivid. It's been so rare that I would have such intensity in a dream. But what it would mean I can't say. It was just me walking alongside this wide stream, almost like a swiftly flowing canal, and looking at the views along it as it bent one way and another. I wasn't looking for anything, as far as I know. I've rarely had a dream in which I was not looking for something.
So at some point before I woke I had this peculiar dream, and had no memory of it when I woke, and then went out and got my brain fried, and then came home and drank lemonade, and suddenly remembered having had this dream. I think it was the feel of the cold liquid flowing into me that brought the memory up. I don't remember ever having remembered a dream in that way. Either fragments remain with me when I wake, or the dreams vanish utterly.
I don't understand the dream and I don't know when I had it and I can't imagine why I've now remembered it. But the only thing that really troubles me about the whole thing is not knowing where that improbable stream was flowing, or why it had not plunged off of some mountainside. I don't suppose I'll ever get an answer. I don't suppose I'll ever be satisfied without one.
There Is No City That Does Not Dream
by Anne Michaels
There is no city that does not dream
from its foundations. The lost lake
crumbling in the hands of brickmakers,
the floor of the ravine where light lies broken
with the memory of rivers. All the winters
stored in the geologic
garden. Dinosaurs sleep in the subway
at Bloor and Shaw, a bed of bones
under the rumbling track. The storm
that lit the city with the voltage
of spring, when we were eighteen
on the clean earth. The ferry ride in the rain,
wind wet with wedding music and everything that
sings in the carbon of stone and bone
like a page of love, wind-lost from a hand, unread.