He falls asleep only to fall
then wakes to mornings damp
Cora knew it was a dream. She kept waking and falling back over the blurred lines. She was walking to the beach, as she had done a thousand times. As she had not done in twenty years.
Sharp rocks penetrated the thin soles of her veteran running shoes. The wind was high and cold and the sun low enough in the sky to strike her chest. A perfect/imperfect Oregon evening. While her Toronto friends lusted after Caribbean beaches, Cora ached for the rugged Northwest coast. Her pleasure was fused with fear and she reached for a deeper sleep.
Cora timed her breaths to the rise and fall of the waves. In...out. In...out. The separation of ebb and flow was too long, the reflex for air too strong. She inhaled, gulping--a pathetic land animal devolved from her ancestral amphibian--still, she belonged to the water. The pungent brine was tinged with scents of Pacific fir and pine. How often she had walked alone here as a girl, away from the voices. How old was she now? Surely no longer a child. Cora shook her long dark hair, mostly dark save for what Jacques called her lunar streaks. She reminded herself she was a mother, a lover, a writer, a daughter returning of her own volition. She had a new country and after twenty years, three new layers of skin. She would not be imprisoned. She had created a new life for herself. And when she walked along the Oregon beach, she would be free.