When I woke I found myself back underneath the smoke tree, its spiny fingers taping my eyelids to stir me. I was exhausted but attempted to describe my journey to it and to not leave out a single detail on where I had just been. I even described how the tree itself had disappeared and I had stood, for a brief moment, before the invention of color.
It told me I needed to listen to the lines of the journeys. Their ripples, waves, filmy movements. Its lessons inside volumetric flasks, all grace and glass. The journeys had been woven by the sea, threadbare and all of our hair. They contained the three tiers of arches of The Pont du Gard, a rich and endless backyard. Nilometers and blankets of translucent sand. Ladders and leyden jars built hand by hand. As it spoke, upside down trees and flat disc-shaped worlds began to grow in the palm of my hand.