Dreamscape #1: A Healing

by Jami Nakamura Lin

A Healing

The woman who speaks in tongues tells you: I see a vision of a boat. In a shadowed church you stand above a congregation. Examine your illusions. The boat is on the water. The boat heads towards an island, the ocean steers it to another. The woman who speaks in tongues touches you. Flame on flame. You are the boat, she says, in words you understand. God is the ocean. Do you understand? Try. She writes her email on a piece of paper, slips it in your Bible. Rubiesandgems. Light on light. You want to run. Edit your illusions. The sanctuary darkens, her words the thin blade of an ice-skate. Step away. But you stay, dots of perspiration collecting on your forehead, your underarms. Beads of morning dew. Nearby a girl faints, a snail unfurling on the ground.

The woman who speaks in tongues gestures to the pastor. He touches the crown of your head. God does not want you to be this way. You are small, deficient. A man runs up and down the pews. Once you saw a polar bear pace back and forth, back and forth, around his frozen pool. His tiny rink. Your mother whispers animal depression, sighs. Zoos. The pool of your anger. The pastor on one side, the woman who speaks in tongues on the other, and you, the tip of this scalene triangle. Relax. The pastor touches your scapula. Under his hat he has no eyes, only water. Let Him renew you. Her tongue lashes, licks the air. A worm ready to bait. You run. Finally you run.

In your car you curl into your own pod. Your own God. Examine your illusions. The answer is to want less. Try. Ignore the allure.

Jami Nakamura Lin is an MFA candidate at the Pennyslvania State University and was a founding editor of Revolution House literary magazine. A Pushcart Prize nominee, her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Passages North, Monkeybicycle, r.kv.r.y, Escape Into Life, Rock & Sling, Airplane Reading, and others.

What can you tell us about your SCRATCH CARD SERIES?

My boyfriend and I started to buy those scratch card lottery tickets every time we went grocery shopping. We lost almost all of the time. I thought I would keep all the scratched-off cards– I joked that I would turn them into some type of postmodern art. But most of our scratch cards were crossword puzzles, and I thought, hey, I could actually write about these. So I’m creating a series of short lyric essays and essay corresponds to a scratch card. Each essay includes all of the words in the connected crossword puzzle. All the pieces revolve around the ideas of dreams and fantasies, since they’re lottery tickets.


Congrats to Christopher Allen for having a work from HOUSEHOLD TOXINS being chosen to appear in BSF 2019 from Sonder Press.

Check out the write-up of the journal in The Writer.

New titles available from Robert McBrearty and Tori Bond.


Poetry, creative nonfiction, and fiction/prose poetry submissions is now OPEN. Check out our new category triptychs! The submission period closes December 15, 2019; submit here.


11/04 • Douglas W. Milliken
11/06 • Alouini, Olfa
11/11 • Janiru Liyanage
11/13 • Francine Witte
11/18 • Pamela Painter
11/20 • Margaret Madole
11/25 • Nancy Stohlman
11/27 • Kelsey Englert
12/02 • Tara Campbell
12/09 • Foster Trecost
12/16 • Janiru Liyanage
12/23 • Tanner Barnes
12/30 • Caroline Firme
01/06 • Meg Eden
01/13 • Daniel Galef