sidewalk, that old thing

Irene Lyla Lee

sidewalk, that old thing at

our feet. with the tendency to crack


unmistakable writing

collecting the city’s liquids and pronouncing ludely at the base of buildings.

the dirty holder of all things alive

and dead. Of all things on which

we tread.

on which we will eventually fall.


It’s an old man, the sidewalk.

some quiet relative.

cracks though, are places, refuge and digestive. they are places: the symbol of the crack…


an abyss.


the location of the wish and terror, threaded constantly between the giant blocks

tiny weeds bloom like fireworks for termites

How did they grow in such a swamp


freedom is the right to be audacious
to let those cracks tremble hard, to
not be afraid of what will fall away in




of what they collect as the city keeps spilling


sidewalk, without you there would be dirt, and maybe heaven.

but, you sandy, worn, stained thing, you’re here and there is nowhere else for me to step.

so i must learn to love around you.

to love despite you. and because of the tiny treasures you surrender, i

must see you.


you didn’t mean to be a sidewalk.

but the chicory can show its muscle
that dandelion pops proud
the grasses hold council.

so break, break, break. you belong to this world too, to the crumbling and the growing, to the wind, and the
water, and all the refuse which you carry, you belong to our feet and those roots, you can let yourself loosen now,
sidewalk, break