I find myself each evening, while commuting on the 101, or when the blue barns and silos within shut down and darkness lifts me to sleep, repeating commonplace words I had heard earlier that day, or entire phrases from conversations I had with acquaintances. And I twist my breath over a syllable or sentence like a fin slicing water toward trawled dolphin, or the dregs of a bog dripping from the faucet in a marble bathroom. While driving home, I sweat from netting in an innuendo uttered that morning from parking-attendant or tourist, a code which, after originally sinking in the swamp of consciousness, has surfaced, its skin brackish and green. Later, I sit up in bed, water-bucketed awake with the chill that I had not listened to someone’s plea, that there is a fire-alarm in everyone’s voice, that the foundations are buckling, and though the sidewalk is glazed with moonlight, the remaining deer are bucking up the hills; if I were to stop, I would smell these lands burning; if I were to drink, I would taste water heavy with smoke. The voices rise, converge within my stifling fields, until I fumble out of bed to pace my apartment and beg that they are only echoes and not the petitioners themselves, echoes that have inhabited me so that I might listen to their squabbles, their women giving birth, their cocktail parties, diners, their salesmen crying hysterically in motel rooms, the deafening hiss of prayers.