Both sides win

She’s barefoot down the street in short, dirty-black chiffon; the dress a metaphor for the city, the city her only version of a meadow. The sidewalk sweats with ancient heat and recent rain. And the rough wetness cools the blisters on the patches of the balls of her feet, worn rough having so often similarly trod. The word reminds her of a line from a poem, “nor can foot feel being shod,” and she smiles. Feet are supposed to touch the ground just like they’re supposed to hurt.

Fake trees loom above and block the long-set sun. Fluorescent blinks and intermittent shadows alternate light and dark. Her light-aired, measured steps are deliberately taken, then not so, and betray a civil war between ennui and melancholy. Both sides win.

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