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18 milligrams melatonin
One bottle of red wine
A dreamcatcher with moonstone beads and an owl's feather
One jar
One achingly beautiful horror movie
Three Amish comforters
Two bamboo-stuffed pillows
The croaking of frogs on a summer's eve
Soothing music
One notebook and pen


Mix well, apply wine liberally, dim lights and open windows to allow sultry humidity for rising. Hang the dreamcatcher over the window; set the mason jar beneath. Lie down uneasily; take the last mouthful of red to swallow the pills, and turn in under too-heavy covers. Prop your head atop the bamboo, drift away into an uneasy, overheated slumber, eyes on the swaying owl's feather and frogs mixing with the rising and falling notes. Caught, roughly, like a butterfly in a web, plunge into vivid landscapes and half-remembered faces. Chase true love (or even just sex), and never reach it. Dance beneath the moon, echo the drumbeat of frogs with your hands on skin.

Let the condensed fantasy drip down the strands of your dreamcatcher and collect in the jar, glistening in the early light of dawn. Make sure the lid is tight, then leave in a cool dark place. In the morning, write down your fever visions and place them also in the jar.

Never remember, but never forget.

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