She feels like sunlight on frozen skin. She watches a tiny spider crawl up the small blonde shaft of hair on her arm. Her first finger with chipped polish the color of a fresh arterial bleed stretches out to it, eight tiny legs reaching across. She whispers to it softly, holding its little black body against a backdrop of flesh up to blue sky and back down to grass where it belongs.
She’s fixated with belonging. Order. Rhythm. The rock of waves against the fallen tree sound better on her right side. The osprey nests high up on her left.
She takes her showers by candlelight. She never runs in the rain. She talks to ghosts and they talk back, those conversations hold more depth than the ones held over burnt coffee beans and pretentiously mustached lips.
Madness. Her tongue flicks in anxious rhythm behind her teeth, and her eyes are like wildfire. And every time she fears being alone, she finds herself surrounded – swallowing hard, her own hands climbing up her neck and throat like tiny spiders to find a pulse rapid. The rhythm echoes in her ears.
And she runs.
Originally written December 3 2017, in the backseat en route home from Orlando.