Various and Sundry Poetry

"Are you terrified of anything?" She asks this as I'm trying to get an external modem to work, some internet cafe in the middle of a pedestrian market. It is a dream, of course. "Are you terrified?" she asks and because it is a dream there is no choice but to tell the truth. "Yes," I say, unhooking and rehooking the cable for the hundredth time. "Are you?" She nods, looking scared and relieved at the same time. "Let's get out of here," she says, and because it is a dream, there is an apartment just steps away. I assume it's hers, but when I ask she says No, and we walk in anyway, walk upstairs into a room with bunkbeds and leap right to the top bunk. "What are you terrified of?" I ask but because it's a dream, someone comes home right when she's about to answer. Then someone else, and another, a small band of housemates. And I tell them not to worry, that we haven't touched anything, even though right when I'm saying this I am rifling through a manila folder that isn't mine, separating out little piles of paper into categories. But she doesn't seem to mind, shrugs her shoulders and moves into the kitchen, and I move on, too, a pad of paper with a small clump of magnets on the back. And because it's a dream, a small dogs leaps into my lap and my friend laughs, seeming me juggle hte paper and the magnets and the dog. And soon, the others join us, and another dog too although at first I think it's a cat, and suddenly the room is so full, and the animals have found each other and fall asleep with their mouths open toward the other, breathing in the other's breath, and there we are on that top bunk with strangers below us not minding the intrusion, and sleeping dogs and magnets and a pad of yellow lined paper, and I ask her again or she asks me, I don't remember who says it, "Are you terrified of anything?" and the answer's changed, we both know it, there there wasn't anything to be terrified of anymore, not in the way we'd thought, not in the way we'd known. Whatever is in that room - peace, company, magnets - too big of a match for terror.