Defining Livelihood

Wind whistles through a barren landscape, still plummeting, head of stillness crushed beneath the tail end of city tunnel wrath: momentum. Fabled breeze be damned, gentle does not thrive in vastness.

"Remember where this one came from?" Emily murmurs, running a thin finger along a thinner purple knee. Convex white line runs, embellished in a thick frost, over fragility.

Yellow bike falls to the empty words of God, blood is unseen in high grasses. Nestled between broken bottles, life seeps through the crust like its contents, resting elsewhere.

With a dingy sweatshirt the peddler smears rivers from plagued lakes, running first from the glass, then the feeder pond joint of her neighbor.

"This is the best yet!"

Words are masked by whistling silence, both of wind and gapped teeth, but neighbor smiles beneath knotted white locks. Wheels churn up wildfires, ruddy hues of dusk are woven in the chains. Trees are devout in the sun's fellowship, burn when she pulls close.

Seasons alone tame grass, when seasons come.

"Never a damn day of Winter" Papa'd say after hours moving the fields, wiping face with a bandana of the same red shade. "Not a damned day."

Untamed wilderness, not empty, not ominous; teeming with life, glided with death: Autumn. Collector, creators, original: everything stays.

"No idea. Looks like it'll be hell to edit out."

Laughter, blonde hair slips over pointed glaciers, nothing to grasp; round eyes, contrastingly full smile: clean canvas.

"Do you think my agent will recommend surgery?"

"Won't that leave a scar too? Why bother?"

Nonexistent wrinkles are smoothed from a crisp, pink blouse, lighter only than the lavender tunnels running sluggishly under narrow ice. Fixing, perfecting. Careful treading, lifeless Spring.

"I'd be a cosmetic scar; easier to conceal."

"I say we don't try to hide them at all!" Neighbor traces cracks in red clay with surgeon-like focus, smearing mud onto the orange tile of a makeshift mosaic. "It adds character! It's unique."

"They are mistakes!" Peddler protests. The heavens weep. Drops splatter onto well-earned grime, releasing tan splotches from layers of a hard day's work.

"Well, it's for my room, and I like it this way! You can see more of the crystal."

"Really?" Peddler sniffles, no longer a peddler, or walker, or explorer. Artist rises to new culture. "Let's engrave it too, then!"

Brown stick, red clay, crisp leaves, baked clay, dark glass, bleeding skies, yellow grass-
Everything dead is lively.

"It's unique; it'll really stand out." Artist claims. Downtown traffic bustles, loud and busy: echoed calls, nothing stays.

"Your right. I have to get it removed." Neighbor, now Roommate, rises slowly from the futon. Floor 43 still locks the weight of Earth around skeleton ankles. Heels, raised crusted with mud, now rise 43 floors and six inches above it, chains incisive.

"I'll be back later." Clacks Roomate from the doorframe. Above it, between a painting of Manhattan's skyline and the framed cover of Vogue's Spring magazine, a mosaic promises:

Southern Girls Never Change, -2009






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