Wade into the slowly moving rio, pressed tight between walls, from upon the streets where expanses are all occluded, everything has a relationship drawn in fragments. She cannot clutch the city whilst getting caught drifting into reeds around corners. Yet, lost down within, a relationship impossible through racing straightness is cultivated, she is subject to the invisible eddies, the deep currents, the stagnant dead ends, the life cast into the reeds, shes sees why, for self preservation, the streets redirect themselves, why they hide covered places the sun cannot touch, standing water connects continuously with the great network she believes she is refused from but which she cannot leave without drifting throughout. On all sides are walls. Afternoon sun flows through southfacing gaps and falls upon her neck and shoulders. Long spells and days spent watching the shadows drift across the opposite wall, and shadows of clouds drift through those pale frames of light at conflicting speeds, bring her the protection of familiarity, the familiar everchanging skies. She is claimed by this space, identified by its coordinates, its stillness, its address, its name, all of which she adopts. Sheltered in these times, although the road extends far out to the horizon, she can maintain focus. The noise of the city falls away, the repeated blocks, the names, and the mysteries. She stalls here and there not from personal interest, or any sense of fit or acquiescence in the rigour of gridded walls, but out of a necessity that these things prompt, to claim the blank, the mutable, by merely occupying it for as long as the tides allow.

At her feet dried grass and stiff reeds weigh against the base of a rusty chainlink fence which is as tall as her chest. None of the dessicated blades penetrate the diamondshaped network of metal yet the entire mass leans against the fence with such consistent dead weight that it is bowed inward over the sidewalk, conditions whihc would only have been possible had the fence been placed long after the grass had stopped growing, involuntarily following the sun, living, to prop it out of the sidewalk and preserve it in the plat of this particular apartment building. The thicket, frozen in a gross southward lean, becomes more sparse in the northern direction becoming bare, dry, packed dirt at the base of the apartment building. In the bristly, anklehigh stalks halfway into the lot lay the flotsam of a time when routes curved through the thicket, before the fence, preserved, just as arid as the grass, a tea bag, steeped, then pressed out with a thumb and dried in the form of a pillow recently vacated, a grey plastic spoon with a white oval in its shallow vessel around which a turbid lavender corona skirts, fragments of paper, newspaper, circulars, napkin, the frothy filter of a cigarette, strewn upright amongst the short reeds with a crest that could blow if there were breeze or nearby footfalls, and a folded sheet of red paper, softened at its creases and stained with liquid tannic blooms. Three tall yellow plastic sunflower pinwheels cast shadows across the refuse; their petal blades do not turn. Sprouting where these wire stems enter the dirt clutches of small, tender, parasitic yellow flowers bloomed without greenery, living off of the decay, the dried sap within the brown husks of grass. She stood fenced from this cast away tea party, connected back to the apartment windows beyond the fence and the thicket by the absence of a cup, and fingers around its thick handle, another hand flat on the grass with a stiff arm on which she leans back into the grass, finishes the mint tea which has slowly turned purple in the bottom of the cup, and rests down onto her side and elbow beneath the sunflowers. She removes a scrap of paper from her blouse, looks down toward her legs and feet in the sun. The smell of salt low in the still air wavers with the motions of the brackish water, nearby, to the west, just through the reeds, as it laps gently into footprints worn into sandy stone.

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