A Beacon of Hard Questions

If I look out my window at night
I see the lone light on the mountain
across the valley, glinting rude accusations
at me, a conversation I’ll sidestep
until I die. It’s there every night
regardless of weather and makes me want
to bury the words I said last winter
and tile over them with someone else’s
body. Gone are the times I can pretend
I know what I’m doing because
its questions hover outside the glass
like sphinx moths we caught on the farm
as children: agitated, thrashing, too far
from home. What is home? The light asks,
and I don’t know. It could be sun rising
over the rhubarb field; a car door slamming
in the night; the tick of the clock
on the kitchen wall. Or it could be you,
another body, but that depends on what temporary
and the strength of glass means to you;
what’s the point if you won’t stop
me crashing to the street below?
We can pretend all we want, but
when it comes down to it, I’ll bury anyone
if it means this damn light will stop
judging me. No longer a child, I should
embrace these questions; I close the curtains.
Down the street, a car door slams,
then another.

Catherine Friesen (they/them) is a queer and non-binary writer, editor, sometimes illustrator, and all-around nature lover living on the side of a mountain. They majored in psychology and creative writing in their undergrad and are currently working through art therapy grad school. When they’re not reading or writing, they can be found baking cakes, singing to their plants, or getting lost in the woods.

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