"They want me to write about the mystic E2 dragon."
"So I think of you."
Silence... a weight. "So it's me?"
"No, but you are a dragon, born in the Year of the Dragon."
"Like we're Chinese."
"And you are an ox."
"Thanks." I wait. "Come on, show up."
The dragon is made of a coat hanger, a rough gold cloth and black felt hand sewn to the body, thin gold cloth on the wings, gold earrings with rubies for eyes. Probably fake rubies, I'm not sure. I made it in college, tail to curl around the neck so that it can sit upright on my shoulder when I walk around. A gold fire lizard. I gave it to my sister, who said I could take it back when she lay dying.
The dragon morphs and now fills the living room, pushing on the walls and squashing me. The scales are hard and hot!
"Stop it!" I say, "Don't destroy the house!"
The dragon is now couch size. My couch groans under it. The dragon is very alive and smoke rises from her nostrils. It manages to look like my sister, like a dragon and like the borg all at once. Metal and wires on the left side of the dragon's face, eye socket with a metal camera that whirrs.
"Mind the couch." I say.
She shifts a little, not shrinking. I peel myself off the fireplace, with the ache of the metal insert and the mantel on my back.
"So." I say, "what should I tell them?"
She narrows her eyes at me and shrugs.
"What do they want to hear?"
"You tell me."
"Keep the site alive."
"Yeah, ok." I wait.
She looks around. "Your dust bunnies are dying of old age."
"That's ok." I say. "They are better than a guard dog."
She snorts smoke.
"Tea?" I say. I have it made already, on a tray. The tray was painted by one cousin, the tea cloth woven by another, the teapot made by our mother, with my poem on it.
She takes the cup and saucer delicately. Five claws on each forefoot.
"What's it like?" I say.
Shrug again, as she sips the tea.
"I'm not telling you. And this is your active imagination, so what a stupid question."
"But I am talking to the unconscious."
"Yeah, whatever. And anyhow, you've already decided, puny human."
And here a curtains drops, while I thank her and we say goodbye.