Written by Gabriella Troy
Graphic by Lucy Pham

My feet have never been sure of their path.
They skim over earth like ghosts, terrified that
the ground will open up and swallow me
whole. Already there are cracks, spreading
like spiderwebs from every footstep, scattering
across the dry plateau of withered dreams and
whispered terrors.

My feet have only ever known the torture
of continuing in aimless direction. They turn
in circles, nauseating cycles of wearing away
brittle skin, swallowing against the desire for
something more, losing every inch gained
in the fear that surges around me
like a blinding whirlwind of dust.

My feet tremble as though a 9.5 earthquake tears
through the terrain. Engulfed by overblown
phenomena, they fear being split apart, being
stranded in ruin and answerless dilemma. But
it is just fear. They are afraid. The earth is fine.

Out of this natural disaster, the bare ground
will birth new dirt with seeds worth a thousand
lives in a million years to come, and the earth
will breathe natural wonder.

My feet stumble over the stories of the world,
worn from dreading every minuscule shift
of the plates beneath them. They will never
be sure of their path, but they can be sure
that each step leads them to change.

In all the dirt and dust and rocks and rolls,
my feet have stayed standing.