I wash up on the shore. Trump has been chasing me all night, and I am bone tired. Surely he will not follow me on land, I think to myself, but he does. I flee into a hotel and hide behind a curtain. He pulls it back, exposing me to his sea-bloated body. I die or I wake up, I am not sure.
Trump appears in the living room. He must have come through the television. How was I so stupid to invite him in? In he saunters, dressing my newborn son in a mismatched outfit. I am disgusted, but do not show it. I take my baby into the kitchen, then notice my breasts. Only I can nurture my son. My milk is the one thing that vampires like Trump cannot stand. I nurse my newborn without blinking an eye. Trump retches and disappears into the night.
I have stumbled into Trump’s shadow again. She refers to herself as the dark empress, and I mistake her kitchen for my own. As I try to feed my child a lump of rice and cheese on a tortilla, she screeches, “No! You cannot cook here. No!” She banishes us to an underground system of tunnels. I follow a tunnel to the other side. Call it a border, call it a fence, call it history, but it isn’t much: just a dark passageway to the light. A blonde-haired woman, along with her only child, lives like a mole at the dead end of one of these tunnels. “They will not conquer us like they did in 1492,” she assures me. “The indigenous soul is strong. It cannot be starved, but it must remain hidden, or the empress will crush it into a pulp.” I tuck my son into her body so that she, the only light worker I have ever met, can smuggle him across the border of the empire.
I am pregnant with another man’s child, but I pretend I am married to him, lay on his bed even, to convince him I am just another whore, one of his many conquests.
The children insist that we hide under the bed. We are packed under the bed like sardines. I cannot help but think of the Holocaust survivors. I hold my breath as the children whisper, “We would rather sleep on the floor out of sight where it is safe. He cannot find us here.”
Somebody gives me a doll with curly red hair made out of yarn, black horseshoe-shaped eyes on its white face, and a gingham blue outfit. I wake up empty handed, and I cry. I cry because I am alone in an unknown location, that doll nowhere to be found. I hear crying, yelling, feet ringing out on concrete. I smell shit, urine, sweat, dust swirling in the sunlight. I do not want the light on my body. I want to go back into the belly of the night where I am safe. I want my mother to take me back into her womb, but she is nowhere to be found. Please help me.
Katie Dillard grew up in the midwest and has lived in the Northern California area for the past ten years. She received her MA in English (Creative Writing-Poetry Emphasis) from the University of California-Davis is in 2012. She has published in various print and online venues. She enjoys writing in multiple genres and styles, and is interested in becoming a more politically active mother and writer. You can read more of her work and finds links to her publications at www. imaginedilluminatis.wordpress.com.
Photograph by Epiphany Knedler