By Kirby Wright
I stroll infinity road through oak, tripping over a drainage ditch made of wood. Thrushes scurry through the forest. A caretaker passes cradling a pitchfork. I reach a gazebo with support posts disguised as scrolls and a ceiling frescoed with newborns. Babies with the faces of old men. One squeezes a carp. Rococo clamshells and grape leaf garlands. Onward. The oaks become giants, mist swirling trunks the size of redwoods. Limbs arch the road, creating a tunnel.
I reach a tiny dock. The lake is before me—a jade square with lily pads riding its surface. There’s an island of birch. A rowboat, tethered by frayed rope to the dock, lies frozen in water. The boat’s floor glitters korunas. Footsteps. Are those feet? No, just oaks on the road dropping acorns. The boat rocks. The White Lady stands on a lily pad. She’s wearing a bone-white dress with gold fringe. The sash around her waist is strung with keys. “Hey, babe,” I greet. She pulls on a pair of black gloves. “Babe?” I go. A breeze kicks up—the lake shivers. I smell fireplaces, the stench of dungeons, stale mead.