The Art of Tetman Callis The Birefringent Morning

The Birefringent Morning

First published on Cloudbank 13, July 2019. Copyright 2019 by Tetman Callis.

The light was different. No clouds in the sky. The sunlight looked filtered. Polarized.

The woman I sleep with talks in her sleep. Last night she said, “Please don’t die. Please don’t die.” Her tone was the one that comes when it’s too late.

The light was different. Everything else looked the same.

Please don’t die. Did she wake me? Was she the one awake and I was the one asleep?

How do I know? I’m sure as I can be of anything that I’m not a butterfly dreaming I’m a man.

Am I a corpse dreaming I’m alive? How do I know?

Please don’t die.

If this is what comes after life it doesn’t look like much other than the light has changed.

I kissed the woman this morning before I left. Please don’t die. Please don’t die.

There’s so much to do, even here where only the light has changed.