It’s a Tuesday, 4 a.m., three years from then and the dream is
Taking her under and around and back again.
She’s scrambling, trying to escape on slippery ground.
Roving, hot hands make every thought turn into smoke.
Red and black demons slowly, torturously, grope and squeeze her;
Touch her everywhere as she’s pinned down, pressed into the blanket.
Voiceless words itch her throat, but she can’t even scream.
Then something snaps, splits and breaks into fragments of obsidian
And her fist explodes outward and hits a hard jaw.
Suddenly, her throat is unglued so she shouts stop stop
Lucid, mouth still vibrating from her scream,
She hopes desperately that I didn’t hear her through the thin walls.
I don’t, but I’ll know by the way she’ll stir her coffee with shaking hands,
Or how I’ll have to repeat her name from across the table.
As she lies back down, her heart beats like bat wings in caves,
And she’s surprised it even beats at all.
Shilah LaCoe studied creative writing at University of South Carolina. After graduating, she began her career in the publishing industry, assisting independent authors through the publishing process under the guidance of mentor Kathy Meis at Bublish, Inc. She lives in Charleston, SC.