She dreams each night of a fox:
Russet-fur, dark boots, angles and lines.
The fox creeps into everything she dreams,
Always stalking, always slight.
Her head hits the pillow and the fox is there,
Burning fire by the bins, down the alley,
In the dark forest, slipping round unreality
Into her childhood home, school, everywhere.
She thinks of anything but foxes,
Then everything about foxes,
All to no avail. She dreams her favourite film;
Sneaking in the edges, the orange spectre.
One day, walking to work in broad daylight,
A glimpse of rust on four legs. It can't be.
It must be. She tries to follow the fox,
But it's gone, smoke, a flash in the pan.
The fox escapes her dreams into the corner of her eye.
She knows without hesitation it's the same fox,
Recognition beyond rational explanation,
Sharp moments of unease as it watches, waking and sleeping.
No one can know about the fox that weaves
Out and in of her dreams, that has started to appear
In the darkest corners of her house.
They'd say she needs help, that a fox isn't a good sign.
She dreams she is a fox, free to explore
The flashing lights of the city without fear.
Breathtaking rooftops, dark alleys safe to roam.
Daytime pales in comparison.
She waits patiently for when the day comes,
When fox-she escapes the dream world.
She knows without hesitation that she'll embrace it:
The fox world is so much better than her life.
Siobhan Dunlop is a UK-based poet and book blogger with poems published in 404 Ink, Pixel Heart, Re-Analogue, meanwhile magazine, Crêpe & Penn, 3 Moon, and The Speculative Book 2019. They love reworking classic texts and reading about tech and AI, and can be found on Twitter under @fiendfull.