Last night, again, I dreamed my children were back at home, small boys huddled in their separate beds, and I went from one to the other listening to their breathing -- regular, almost soundless -- until a white light hardened against the bedroom wall, the light of Los Angeles burning south of here, going at last as we knew it would. I didn't waken. Instead the four of us went out into the front yard and the false dawn that rose over the Tehachipis and stood in our bare feet on the wet lawn as the world shook like a burning house. Each human voice reached us without sound, a warm breath on the cheek, a dry kiss. Why am I so quiet? This is the end of the world, I am dreaming the end of the world, and I go from bed to bed bowing to the small damp heads of my sons in a bedroom that turns slowly from darkness to fire. Everyone else is gone, their last words reach us in the language of light. The great eucalyptus trees along the road swim in the new wind pouring like water over the mountains. Each day this is what we waken to, a water like wind bearing the voices of the world, the generations of the unborn chanting in the language of fire. This will be tomorrow. Why am I so quiet?