So claustrophobic she would break down
at descriptions of the cave systems
that weaved below the whole entire town.
Outdoor stores where no one’s selling
anything important, but plastic jewelry
tries to argue just the opposite.

Waking up in the middle of the day
in a motel room by yourself
with just the T.V. playing nothing
but old westerns.
The free breakfast at the tables near
the lobby isn’t perfect but it is there
for you, not put away too early.

Friends who have always worked together
whisper in the hallways while the sheets
and curtains spin in all the washers.
They both want to go home
and be themselves again,
and that is not a claim
that they are inauthentic.

She stands before the gateway to a mine
with nothing left inside to excavate.
A home for bats with yellow fangs
and leather coats they wrap
around themselves to sleep.
She knew there was another side
to make it to and simply doing so
would justify the sleepless night
of walking through the tunnel.

There is a rumble at the halfway
point that she can tell distorts
the shifting rock around her
and when they found her
it was too late to do anything.

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