Uneven Foundations

Everything is lopsided.
The houses, the grass, the candy wrappers half flying, caught in the wind, and half buried in the sand, ready and willing to never decompose.
You can’t expect much else, I guess, from a world perched atop a couple grains of sand layered on the receptor of the planet’s contempt — permafrost.
It owes us nothing.

The thought of a paved beach makes me laugh like a caribou caught on this lopsided sandbar, watching forlornly on the shore as the other thousand of my herd shrink into the distance, somehow simulating a moving barge.

Like — are you kidding me?

I am familiar with the smell of dead animal.
I know the breathtaking, penetrating power it wields, crawling into your throat and expanding in your lungs like a soluble IUD.
I know without seeing the maggots ooze out of chewed holes in a yellow plastic bag discarded barely off the side of the wooded alley road on the southern continent what stench lies in wait to demand I question everything I thought I knew about a deep breath.

And so, when the beach grass and the land grass reaches wisps high above my body, shielding the poor, defaced and often furry remnants from my unconcealed disdain, and I walk the sandy, lopsided paths through a maze of windowpanes,
some open, some broken, some closed, some hastily covered with any stretch of fabric — including a confederate flag at which I wince and wonder how it made it here where nothing ever leaves,
Accompanied by noses unfazed by the assault even more damaging than my unfortunately frequent and formidable flatulence,
When I shuffle along these lopsided and deceivingly straight trails kissing the beach of dead, wind-buried seals with the land of the windowpanes,

I smile through my teeth because really, how hard is it to hold your nose?