There's a woman. Let's call her Mary,

because it's ironic. She's tired.

Her eyes won't focus, and she keeps taking off her glasses,

cleaning the lenses, putting them back on again.

She keeps rubbing her eyes. She's with another woman,

let's call that woman the other woman, because it's funny,

and the woman won't stop smiling.

Mary isn't smiling. Mary isn't paying attention,

so when the other woman laughs, she's surprised.

(Mary's name isn't Mary. That's just

what we're calling her. She loves

the other woman. That is, she thinks she does.)

Mary trips when she hears the other woman laughing. Mary

turns to look at the other woman, and she's

made entirely of light. She's hollow, and everything

about her is sharp-edged. Mary can see buildings

through her. Mary's scared. The other woman

is golden. The outlines of her clothing, her hands,

her facial features are visible. Mary thinks,

briefly, that there isn't any way to preserve her.

She'd blend right into amber; she's

made of sunlight now, she'd melt in ice. If Mary tried

to press her like a flower, she'd just shatter.

Mary puts her hand on the other woman's arm. It's hard,

like crystal. Mary's hand is sweaty, and the

other woman's arm starts melting where she

touches it. By now, Mary's pretty sure she's dreaming.