6. Traces

Bent black lines
this thing they call
wrought iron, but isn’t
across the street,
spray-painted styrofoam
in juxtaposition with
salt-worn brick
shares the same
concrete footing;

There is no permanent
reminder here,
of all the feet
that passed this way,
carrying lives & longings,
fancies, follies, quests
both grand and grim;
only a gradual beating down,
a wearing through, slow
weathering dissolution
of structure & stability,
a perpetual settling
of strata and form.

Those who come after
will have no way of knowing,
only the most frail
of half-educated guesses;
the only certainty being
that once, in this place,
intent and purpose took hold;

What speed, what sense,
what path it took
once treading heels
left concrete for the wilder
ways now ages overgrown
lies only in the dreams
of madmen, poets, and
would-be comedians, the
imaginary domains
of thespians and cult leaders,
philosophers, god-kings,
and small children building
brave new worlds
out of sidewalk chalk and sand.

– T.H.

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