She wears a tangerine bandanna, a light brown tank top, and dark brown cargo pants. I hold her, seated on the aisle of a theater. She is soft, perfectly curved to my body, and she reacts to my embrace with a familiar tide of disinterest and euphoria.

Now we’re holding hands, walking through a dilapidated neighborhood, built beneath the wreckage of an old amusement park. The leaves are autumnal, the grass peaceful and bronze. I marvel at the scenery, while she darts away and into coffee shops to talk with random strangers. She returns, and I point out a mint-green fire tower, where children are playing with their parents. I laugh and say, this is what entertainment looks like in my hometown. Her response is lost to my waking ears.

I want to stop dreaming of her. The growing transparency of her memory now stretches over an opaque longing, so that her visage is more ideal than reality. But she will stay, I think. She will stay and be the question that I’ll forever try to answer.