She glided through the field, her self-made path closing quickly behind her, leaving no traces of her existence in the lush green and white jungle of foliage. The scent of bruised petals enveloped her senses, bruised by her being there, the freshness of life making their way through her nose and up into her senses. She turned, and, the sunlight flashed like a shock wave, blinding her. She tried to combat it with her hand, her squinted eyes, but it was too strong to overcome. She bowed her head for a brief moment, turned back, and let the sun catch her on her bare neck, her pale cheek, warming her scalp and hair follicles just beginning to grow again.

She walked further into the jungle of ivy, brush and flower, her bare feet relishing in the cool, mossy massage with every step, while, from above, her head and neck enjoyed the warmth from a sun that couldn't make its way down to the low growing plants she trod upon. Her body brushed against the tall stalks, the stalks almost voluntarily giving way for a brief moment, until her body, her presence had made itself known to them, then closing the gap between where she was going and where she came from. Her fingertips brushed the soft flowers and pointed branch ends, occasionally grasping for some soft foliage to hold onto, crushing it between her fingers to release the scent, the softness, the power, and letting it go, to fall amongst the mossy green beneath her feet, like Gretel's crumbs that will either lead her back to her home, or signify her existence this day on this earth at this point in time.

The scent of the dogwood reached her nose, that deceptively beautiful Southern tree with an aroma that reminded her of rotting vegetation, of garbage, of that indescribable aroma remaining after sex. Like her, like him, like all of them, nature has its lilac, its rose, and it has its dogwood. All exist together in their natural states. No one made them that way, they just are. She just is. And she is here, with sun on her neck and her feet in the cushion of the earth. She is just here.

Marianne Kubik