The Rape Trees

by Kim Beck

Along the southern border in Naco, Arizona, my partner and I scout for signs of desert invasion; cuts or stretches in the metal fence, foot trails, water bottles, debris. It is bleak and hot, almost one hundred degrees, but we fight everyday to defeat the human traffic. After noticing a yawn in the fence and a beaten path leading through the cacti, we stop to listen for jabbering illegals, snakes, or cougars. 250 yards in amongst Saguara and Chuparosa, we notice a Joshua Tree littered with women's underwear and bras. Female victims, imprinted with rape, garments displayed on trees as trophies, pay high costs to male guides for a snatch at a better life. There are too many rape trees here.

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Kim Beck lives in Kenai, Alaska where she writes short and micro fiction as well as novels. ("The Rape Trees" was inspired by a new blip that barely registered thirty seconds of screen time but has hung with her for weeks. Now it lives in a Six.)