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Molly Arden dreamt that she was living in a city she didn’t recognize, it was either Morgentown in West Virginia, or Reno, Nevada. A fast, cold river ran through it. From a stone bridge she saw men in yellow rain slickers working on a dam. The Spanish poets she was staying with were a lively bunch led by someone like his friend Victor Cruz, but not Victor. They were looking forward to performing an oratorio for two voices that she had written about the river. The Victor who was not Victor had already arranged for a young poet to perform one voice, while Molly performed the other. They were going to stand up to their waist in the river and perform for the men on the dam and the audience on the bridge. The day before, a friend of hers had flown in from San Francisco. She was a well-known poet and a powerful performer who wanted to do the part. She spent a great deal of her time since arriving to town on her cell phone, while studying the river, the men, and talking about her troubled life in San Francisco. Molly was conflicted: she had promised the part to Victor’s friend, and now she had someone else for the part. The cell phone saved her. “I have to go back to San Francisco tomorrow,” her poet friend said, “but I would like to go for a swim in the river.” Despite Molly’s warnings, the poet in below the bridge and swam against the roaring water. She came out wet and happy and Molly drove her to the airport. The oratorio was going to be performed as originally intended, all that remained was writing it. She woke up to do just that.

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