The forest is tarn dark and hollow.

The dream ends at a well. We stop and peer into the fall.

In the buried gloom the water blinks yellow, gold leaf floating on oily surface, shivering and breathing, licking the rotten insides of the well, draping the drooping moss tufts golden, like spider silk in the grass at dawn.

The gleaming black bulges into a dome, and something hunched and hungry breaks the surface. We turn and run. The air is dense, like guilt, blood-warm like the womb.

A shallow grave blocks the path, a very shallow grave adorned with sea salt and gold dust. Woolen cloth, flecked with gold, stirs and loosens a memory and a truth.

We run again. But this time the forest leads only to another well, to more rising of water. It grasps for us, yet we are faster; we throw ourselves forward, and take and take until the taste of copper will never again leave our mouths. Then we stumble on, wiping our mouths with our sleeves, sated by our own defeat.

From below the gold looked like sunlight on the water, like grace. Without anyone to admire and ache for it, the gold clumps and sinks and leaves the surface to reflect only the night and the murmuring trees.