Her paces

Her shoes are filthy. Those spots of white rubbed through the dirt, those shoes are caked with walked-in dust, asphalt lagoon silt, layed in the dirt dust asleep with legs together and feet stacked, rubbed in sleep those coats of dust branded into white fabric, gilt grey into the white fabric, the tiny particulates of rubbed rocks rubbed into something old, an old shoe and old worn stiff socks, ignored extremities, she does not know she is rubbing them together, can you not feel tall grassland seeds as they creep through holes in your sole, migrate through arches and into heel holes where they imbed in your fractured skin, those dirty skins, hardened, unfeeling callouses, these feet are in a different realm, below her horizon, forgotten, submerged, standing water makes the dirt on your feet real, it gives it a vehicle you cannot provide, your movements are not real, only the changes that accrue on your shoes, the holes, the skids, the grimy blooms, the skins have come from somewhere hidden, you have not been there, you have not catalogued the shifting seas of marks on your soles, you have not seen the sun reflect and be annihilated, the worn spots in the sea are where the land once rose and was washed away, down to the wooden piles, the caked on dried dirt, caked beneath splinters, her feet sink away, down into the silt where slow currents draw much across them, fill them with dark green water that rocks toeward and heelward in gently shuffling motions ever forward, the trudging life, your shoes are grimy, her socks are sagging around blue ankles, clotted grey socks, stretched elastic, frayed and hanging, a cowl parted by her foot and shivering out in wavering ripples as she steps, shake them out, peel them off and let them float atop a fresh puddle, let them breathe free from your skin, leave them to dry in the sun, afternoon evaporates the water from a flat stone, your socks left by the recessional tide, let them be free of you, go in peace, her shoes are old and worn, worn out, ruined, walk them to shambles.

Fences and walls all line and bound the gritty future paths that grind down the rubber under your shoes, you leave it behind in exchange for forced momentum, when can you relent clinging to fences just beside the current, if you look away into a yard, an alcove, you briefly stall but not stop, perhaps the tide has set you down on a stone stair reaching out into the canal, and the tide again rises, never high enough to deposit you across the dead lawn, without tracks, spare your tattered treads, your closed eyes awake there, gently you are layed on the bristly yet yielding reeds, they rise up around you, concealing you, washes of dust fall across your clothes, silt around your flesh dries in the sun, mummifying you into stillness, a place to lay down and be left insulated, ignorant, she looks across the stretch of grass broken by a flattened print where the stalks are layed flat, pale brown, pale blue flowers dappled amongst the grass on an empty dress, a place to lay flat, the afternoon sun bestows upon the grass and upon that projected stillness of your body a regenerative rot that leaves the body but sweeps away the impulses, the person, release from your network of quarantined canals.

Her shoes are caked with dried layers of fine mud, you cannot walk it off, it comes from walking, as the soles erode the rind of filth accretes, kick your foot against the splintered wood pole, she kicks her foot out, kick beside the pole, scrape your shoe, each shoe, along the sides and the heel, mud binds the shoe to her worn sock, all that you have collected, all that coats you is dried by sea breezes into viscous powder. She is kicking repeatedly and shuffling vigorously her shoe against the wood pole in a fine cloud of dust, carrying away the roads, the slept-in puddles, the sun off of the facets of the sea carried in a mosaic of sand grains, the dead thicket, the grass threads through the entire length of fence wavering with the lapping current of her foot shuffles. Although the path is broad it is terminal. All things in the city must collapse upon themselves, roads become hillside cul-de-sacs, sidewalks pool into parking lots, water from drains meets the sea.

Her paces down the lines of sidewalks, pale, barely textured extents, leave delicate discoloured impressions in swinging sinewy routes, ranging rhythmically in relation to walls, grassy patches, and shady alcoves. These passages of ephemeral communication trace a preference for concealment, of turning away, for the deliberateness of each pace to the detriment of the entirety of her occupation of the city. Each shoeprint, a faint stamp of compacted dust, is impressed with varying pressure, heel first, barely rolling toward the toes, ball only, in hobbling directness, or the hopping slap of the flat footfall, so that fragments of the figure, in respective states of completeness, stand up to the light breeze and are read under the falling sun, but buffed on evaporating beadlets of dew come morning.



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