I woke up to the sound of the peacock screaming. It was early morning, but not yet light out, so its cry, which sounds like a child’s lonely call, was alarming— even for the city, and even though I know it lives here, guarding the children’s garden with its distressing voice and cumbersome tail. I was asleep and dreaming about a place I had gone as a child—a lake with amber-colored water in which our dog liked to swim. His nose—the breath coming through his nose—made little chirp-like sounds when he chased the sticks we threw for him. Despite his enjoyment, the sounds he made had a fearful tone, which woke me up—both he and the bird woke me—the combination of their similar noises spanned the separate realms of being asleep and being...I almost said alive. Awake. The lake had rough rocks offshore like shattered islands, and a shallow beach where we’d washed our hair, bars of soap bobbing at our waists. At night, our dog slept soundly because he swam so much—we all swam; we slept well too: when we were young, we slept like the dead. Perhaps it was this revelation that woke me. The bird continued to cry as I tried to retrieve the dream, if only to see our dog again, now long gone, shaking on the shore. But nothing was left; all was lost—only water: black and empty as the hours before daylight.