Rebekah stood before the black wire fence,
looking out onto a sky, a whole entire world,
a deep and cold blue in the late evening.
The wind was cool on her bare arms,
standing there in thin t-shirt and jeans,
not anticipating the cool of the night in the desert.
The fence was behind the hotel, to keep out
the coyotes and predators, those also on two feet.
She watched the horizon, expecting something, fearing it.
She and her friend, a trusted male friend, very rare,
sat in a loud sports bar. She nursed a weak and pale beer.
He watched her over his burger. Wanting to say something.
She smiled for him, took a sip of beer, tried to watch a game.
The noise and lights and motion and thumping music was
making her jittery, only worsening her anxiety and dread.
They were headed to Mt Shasta. To Northern California.
Was it foolish to go there? To test these dreams and fears?
She wanted out of this loud bar. The fearful quiet was better.
She lay on her bed, the hotel room had two, and though sleepless
was still and in a dreaded, alien peace, without her phone and it’s
music and videos and baubles, that soothed the thorn in her flesh.
The outline of the streetlight outside made shapes of husks and demons,
and she feared that she was mad and she feared the demons were real,
and she feared that nothing would ever let her escape these things.
Her friend slept easy. Maybe as a man he was much better and choking
and stamping down all these black and corrosive feelings, pretending
it was all alright. The shadows shifted. The outline reached for her.
Nothing would ever set her free.