One night on a train to Xi’an I wake up in the middle of the night and the world is passing by. The dark night is rushing outside the glass like a thing alive and I blink, bleary-eyed my head half-lifted. The compartment is filled with the sound of people sleeping, light snoring, a cough, a call. Through a slice of curtain I see the world passing, lights rushing and then I can see worlds, entire worlds with cities lining the sky, lit up for a brief moment in burning light. Then the sound of the tracks and the hiss of the toilet flush in the room next door. The train rattles.
I close my eyes, lower my head onto my curled arm, hold the moment of passing worlds and fall asleep with the shudder of train tracks in my dreams of China.