I want what we all want: the past in its own house & enough trees to hold up the sky. But in my dreams, going out only means going farther in. One night I’m a sniper. My target appears to be a normal, middle-aged woman, but my instructions say that she is a danger to us all. I pull the trigger on my noiseless gun & a small red hole appears in her forehead. She continues talking as if nothing happened, so I enlarge the hole with a second bullet. As her body crumples, I feel more and more certain that I did the right thing. Soon I am feverish with rectitude.
Not all bad dreams are nightmares; this one stays with me for hours after I wake. It plays over & over in my imagination like a video game with only one outcome: sight target, aim, fire, see a red eye blaze open. Turn to ash.