Who keeps leaving sharp objects in the street at the corner of Vine and Fifth? Gray William.

Lives in a blanket, dances on bonethin legs. Gray William breaks into, homes to, break vases, into pieces, who knows it? The bloated hatted thing from the corner of an eye. Known by its disease. Calls to the children, c’mon kids, they slunch off into the night. Bridget thought for sure she saw something over there.

Still Eating Oranges

On the night of animals mama and papa and me would all hold hands in the middle of the house. The animals came from the wild to check on us, so they looked right in to the windows for a very long time. I could see the shape of animal faces right outside and I saw the black eyes of an antelope once because of the moon. There was always the sound like a drum beating out in the dust. We stood very still holding hands when the animals came. We had to put out all the lights inside that could hurt their eyes. Mama and papa held my hands tight always. They said that the animals just wanted to check on us, just like they did great-great grandpapa, just like they had always checked on our community.

Still Eating Oranges

Little old Billy was playing and he fell down a hole, a big hole, deeper than anyone knew. He fell for a long time into a strange place, where houses were inside-out and animals were purple. It was hard to live there. Billy, Billy fell into the garden of a man who could speak forwards, backwards and diagonally. He had rainbow petunias that Billy ran through, and Ms. Clock kept ringing, ringing but no one understood. Billy got out of the confusion, no one could believe it, the people all looked like stardust…

In dreams, things are different.

Still Eating Oranges

In the hazed evening air with insects, my associate and I trundled in coats up a long drive, entunneled by trees. We entered deeper and darker into the green. Gradually a cottage and yard came into our view, and we noticed dogs playing with dogs behind an old fence. They noticed us and began saying, “Bark!” My associate tapped on the cottage door, and I wondered as the dogs barked. After a moment the door opened to an extremely average man, memorable only for one reason. Spoke my associate: “We apologize for bothering you, sir, but our vehicle appears to have broken down at the end of your drive.” And the man jollily beckoned us in, his hands red like roses.

Inside the cottage were plants of every variety, curled about the furniture and through the walls. No roof blocked us from the sky. We took tea with our host and watched the sunset above us. My associate ventured: “May we use your telephone?” The man replied: “No telephone exists here.” He stood up to water the plants and a petal fell from his hand, and I decided that it was time to leave. The man showed us out.

As we walked away the cottage seemed to loom behind us. I noticed that the dogs were gone. The sun was almost gone. Uncannily large fireflies were our only light down the drive, which was now growling with forest sounds. We found the car miraculously fixed upon our return, and we left in a hurry out of the dark. The entrance to the drive had vanished. There was a pawprint on the window glass.

Still Eating Oranges

Our hovering citadel traveled twenty-one feet above the ground. It ran on bicycle power. Every man and woman aboard pedaled for six hours each day in the generator room, with regular breaks. We lived amid fine hanging gardens, but we crossed oceans and scaled mountains. The citadel landed from time to time to trade and resupply. I took my turn pedaling like everyone else, happy to be on board.

At the cafĂ© table outside I was waiting, and she arrived. “Are you in town long?” she asked after greetings. “Longer than normal,” I said. We had coffee and cookies and caught up on months of stories. Lively city business went on in the cobblestone street, with street music. As we spoke I felt happy in the strangest way. The people of the citadel were preparing to leave—but I was wondering about life down here.

Still Eating Oranges