A room with a high roof---a balcony and sweeping stairs.
The windows reach to the tops of the trees outside.
It is a dim grey evening, and the polished black banisters
and the beige walls soak up the dimness.
Everything speckles in my low-light vision.
One of my biggest fears is space travel.
Turn a corner. Climb the stairs.
A hallway without windows, and a door at the end.
Pass the paintings whose subjects are too dark to identify.
A man speaks behind the door. When I open it,
the room is glass walls, floor to ceiling.
The lawn beyond this building extends forever into the evening.
The smell of the trees is sweet in the cool humidity.
I cross a road and look around for headlights.
Nothing but a black horizon, a deep blue sky, and the hum and chirps of insects.
A beautiful spot for a picnic, tomorrow in the sunlight.
A spiderweb breaks across my face.
One of my biggest fears is inevitability.
The passenger cabin. I kneel against a cushioned bench,
clutching it while the frame of the room vibrates.
Often we forget how safe we are, living in a mile-thick fluid crust
on a planet the mass of eighty thousand billion billion human lives.
Warning sirens and red lights mix with the blue darkness
into a deafening bruised purple.
I try not to think about radiation and vacuum.
One of my biggest fears is eternity.
Did I ever tell you about the nightmare I have
on the same day every year? That's really the scariest part---
the dream itself isn't so terrifying.