Sûrah VII
THE HEIGHTS
"Between them is a veil."

7
TWIN PEAKS

Up where summer fog advances with a predator's soft-pawed stealth, immense and heavy, gray and thick, infused with breath from a tide unseen, where common shapes are rendered ghostly: signposts, outcrops, stunted flora, each enveloped by a chilblain-mist that swirls from peak to peak, where buses creep along in caravans bearing tourists ever-hopeful that a window in the dismal sky will open, grant them sights they might immortalize with a snapshot, document on video, or capture as a keepsake what can otherwise be procured from vendors along the sidewalk, hawking souvenirs: T-shirts, sweatshirts, key chains, postcards, etcetera, where locals guzzle beer and leave the parking lot festooned with empties and prophylactics (Z ignores them), where foghorns sound their doleful notes at death-defying distance, resonating gravely through the confidential void, where moisture dapples parka hoods and shoulders, sleeves and pant legs, dampens footwear, dampens spirits of her who rues the dim-lit scene, intrusive recollections roundabout evoked (misdeeds, travails) and eschews malignant knowledge of a should-have-been mortality (Z recoils), where there are paths up grassy knolls to sweeping vistas (were they visible) windblown scrub brush, snaggletoothed crags remote, inhospitable, bleak, forlorn, where Z has hiked to be alone, where past events will not pursue her, where the scaffolds built on faith to counter falsehood cannot climb—or so she hoped the while embarking upon her early-morning quest, propelled by fallout from a trine of controversial nightmares, slaughtered dreams, which she endured / escaped / endured / escaped / endured / escaped unsettled, urged to flee through streets obscured by sea-spray run aground, plodding through her inadvertent neighborhood ever-upward, as if drawn by helping hands to heights beyond assumed identity, past a past she would surmount, if not forget, leave well behind, embrace the present, face the future with an exile's anonymity consubstantial with this all-pervasive, atmospheric soup in which Z floats, her mind a blank, her thoughts adrift, her eyes unseeing as the wisps of Neptune's grizzled beard cast sodden shadows vaguely, as the breeze molests her kerchief, as the dank imbues her brow, as who she was and who she is lose all significance, indiscernible as is foreground against background in this obfuscating stew, this nascent medium wherein Z, up where the summer fog advances, seeks to find herself replenished and reborn.