She grasps at the edges of sheets in Royal Blue before the wind in a stale room pulls them from the sailboat mattress, bare feet and underwear just won’t do at high tide she thinks, but there’s no time to go back, we don’t have any more time, the gusts are only traveling in one direction today. Don’t relax, no deep breaths, no sighs of comfort before she dangles a limb overboard and a sock piranha leaves her with one less pink polished toe. She will use the lamp on the nightstand when it gets too dark, cast oval comfort on the sea green walls, careful not to let the cord kiss the water below. There are sharks down there, she thinks, sharks made of bobby pins and hair combs and last night’s Chinese food. And through that eggshell door with the brass knob and crooked family photo there is absolute death; unpredictable, glowing, warm, death. It waits on cobblestone streets, in busy coffee shops, at bus stops, theaters, bars, in sunlight, in strings of gold hung from trees and lampposts that light up his eyes when he kisses her on the cheek on a park bench.
She tries to roll herself up in the sailboat mattress but it won’t bend so she tries to get enough air to make it from boat to doorway, high over an octopus made of three strewn sweaters, far above a school of exotic high heeled fish. She makes it, her breath pushing out like bad weather as she grips the doorknob and pulls in, first stop the kitchen to talk to the throb knocking on her ankle.