Cold and dusty morning,
Books clutched tightly to her chest,
Like someone might snatch them away from her any minute.
Her heavy boots step down
On the dun, wrinkled leaves lining the edge of the sidewalk.
Crunch… that raucous sound disturbs her.
She decides to walk down the center of the pavement.
This would allow her an occupation,
Relieve her of other raucous thoughts…disturb her.
She looks concentratedly downward,
Stopping exactly in the center of each box carved on the cement.
Spacing her steps so very carefully.
Like stepping on one of those lines on the pavement
Would mean the end of the world,
Or maybe result in someone snatching away her books.
Snatch away my thoughts instead.
For some time now I’ve wanted them dead.
Her steps quicken, falling heavily on the ground,
Her calf muscles ache.
Take away this fucking pain.
For some time now it’s driving me insane.
She shoves her boots down on the pavement,
Grinding her heels down
Like she was extinguishing a cigarette.
Her Achilles tendon was ready to stretch.
She concentrates on the squares on the pavement,
Harder, more careful still.
He had called it an OCD once…
She started walking in patterns now.
He had criticized that about her-
Her blocking off thoughts that needed thought.
Faster, faster still her steps fell.
She took the thought, flung it on the ground
Gritting her teeth, grinding it bloody with her heels.
What had he said about her walk?
The profile of her face looking downward?
What was the word he had used?
To talk of her smile?
She stopped dead in her run.
The corner of her big toe rested on a line on the pavement.
Golden “mishti” morning.