It was a woman with seaweed hair and skin like sand, her arms wrapped around me. I was in a four-post bed with a yellow canopy on a beach. A strange dull sunlight touched everything. The ocean moaned like a lost ghost. Chains shook in the waves. A lighthouse light smoothed my forehead, like a mother wiping fever from a child's brow.

In a nearby tree, a boy sat with an answering machine in his lap. He spoke into it, recording songs in French. I understood him perfectly, but could not reply. My mouth opened only to spill out Japanese. And the seawoman in bed with me snored soundly, slept entangled around me, staring with brown eyes.

She had no eyelids