It is a moonlit night in the forest. I am running.
I wear a black lace dress, giving only a pretext of covering my body.
Breasts bouncing freely, pointed appendages of low lying bushes ripping the delicate fabric grasping my thighs, allowing my legs to stretch farther apart in their stride.
I hear the sea gull behind me. One moment its call is a mocking laugh, the next it is hysterical crying.
Laughter and tears.
But, the gull is actually the moth. And, this realization makes my runner’s stride spark into a frantic sprint.
Because, the moth is actually the last man I fell for.
“Turn and face me. See my eyes again,” the moth/seagull cries.
“No. You will wreck me again,” I holler.
I want to feel you chase me: I howl, telepathically.
Peals of laughter erupt from his beaked mouth.
“You are chasing me, heyoka!” he bellows.
And, I send my perception into the starling flying overhead, my shadow spirit.
And, I see,
from on high, looking down on myself and him below.
I see how we run in circles. It becomes impossible to tell who is chasing whom.
And I realize: We’ve been doing this for multiple lifetimes.
A tree limb snatches the collar of my shredded lace nightie and I trip from its unexpected pull.
The gown tears away and I am laid bare and naked.
The forest melts away and now the moth and I are in a horse’s lunging pen.
We are tethered. One moment he lunges me in tight circles, tapping my ass with a long whip. The next moment, I lunge him.
We work each other out.
Jimmy (tha motherfucking) King appears, peaking over the fence of the pen.
He is furious and hurt. I’ve not seen this lover in over a decade.
He accuses, “This is what you are doing? This is preferrable to life with me?”
“I never wanted to bear your children. You wanted twins. To dress up identically and take to an Easter Sunday church service. You broke me when you told me that desire. I was twenty two. I would have taken that dream from you if I stayed,” I pant out.
The lunging pen melts away and I find myself at the little bistro where I work.
Seated at table six. The four top table at the very back of the dining room.
Moth, Jimmy, Sam, and I sit there.
I see Kim. sitting alone at table 7.
I’ve not seen you here: I say to her mind telepathically.
I’m here to play mediator: she says to my mind.
She smiles and I feel safe and held dear in her mind.
Moth’s mouth hangs open in a grotesque grin. Tongue hanging out of his lips. I lean in and suck his tongue into my mouth like I’m giving head.
Jimmy shudders in disgust.
Sam looks completely disengaged and tells me, “I hated you for years. I hated you before I asked you to marry me.”
“You abused my loyalty and I am glad you came clean and we never made it official,” I tell him.
“But, I’m rich now, thanks to you,” he challenges.
“I loved you when you had nothing. I could not care less about your liquidity.”
“Tell moth the truth,” suggests Kim.
“I showed you the story I was telling myself. You showed me how to deconstruct it, edit and revise it. I shall never forget you. And, it hurts, so I howl. Thank you.” I whisper.
“I did nothing but enjoy you,” he responds.
Moth suddenly cries out in pain.
“My ankle! My leather brogues!”
I look under the table.
A sweet, little one of a man is curled up on my feet like a dog. He wears vinyl short pants and a cotton sports bra with a lovely crisscross over his back. (The bra I lost on day two of visiting moth.)
I discover I am holding a leash connected to his collared neck.
“Don’t worry about him. He is mine,” I say.
Jimmy, moth, and Sam look stunned and scared.
The man at my feet growls.
I toss chicken bones under the table to occupy him.
“Careful, pet, they may catch in your throat,” I coo lovingly.
Kim’s laughter is so loud it awakens me.
I sit up suddenly and feel the pit of my stomach ache.
I am thirsty and the water tastes like ecstasy.