La Ronde - (c)2004 Nathaniel Simpson

My feet touch the floor.

They touch the floor, the soles meeting the wood, conforming to every ridge in the finely-grained honey-coloured wood. I close my eyes, feeling the universe under my feet. I close my eyes, travelling down through my brain, crawling with my veins like spiders under my skin, embracing my bones in a sliding caress as I fall through my feet. I am in the floor now, no, the ceiling. I pass through wires like electricity, the electricity passing through me in showers of neon-white sparks raining down into space to compete with the brightness of all the stars. Below, an old man sits in a wooden rocking chair.

An old man sits in a wooden rocking chair, impeccably creased pants and a faded shirt fading into the wood it presses against. I am the walls, four corners wrapped around this place, my only illumination the thick blue glow of a television screen which makes no sound but that of people talking. I am the tiles on the floor, I am the rockers on the wooden rocking chair. The rockers are curved like bows, bowing under the weight of the old man who sits there, wrinkled skin pulled down to its knees in homage to the earth. I flow through the wood, become the wood become the floor become the earth

The earth becomes dry. It has not rained, and I creep, I seethe under the soil. I am the ground under the feet of a woman who stands silently next to a male companion who talks loudly. " that car," she comments, she points at a monstrous assembly of cold, palely beautiful steel and I am the dark oil staining the ground, I smell the odour of warm rubber and oil, sweet and piercing and nauseating. The male companion nods, his average voice saying in an averagely obnoxious tone, "My neighbor has two just like it and...." he fades into the distance as I creep on, spreading.

I am miles under the earth, tumbling fluidly in a sea of molten stone. I glide through the waves, the currents push me toward the surface. Like a whale out of breath, I spout from a volcano, I am the liquid lava becoming flesh, no, becoming incorruptible as I stiffen into the shape of a house that covers a few dirty rags spread lightly on the floor on which a woman sleeps.

Dirty rags are one with the earth; they are not separate, therefore they are light. They are what they lie on. All the colours of the rainbow, the hues, dimmed and warmed by the coupling with the earth. They are perfect.

The curve of a wineglass sparkles in the light, scattering rays that flash about the room before piercing my eye. "I used to be a little girl." No, she still is, and no amount of pretence can make it otherwise. I send this smile. "Why is beauty paired with pain?" She shakes her head, the motion turning hair into shimmering cascades of obsidian rippling with diamonds, each strand wrapping about her face as the thunder crashes outside. The thunder invades the sky, concentric circles of sound spreading effortlessly, brushing clouds aside with ease. I raise the glass to my lips, and the liquid touches my lips.

The liquid touches my lips and silently gurgles like a mountain stream over my teeth like boulders, the stream sliding over the smooth riverbed of my tongue before falling down my throat. I am disarmed by its pleasantry.

The liquid falls to my feet, each toe tingling in its separateness from the others, and air currents brush softly against my skin, each hair ruffled playfully like every other. My feet touch the floor, every beat of my heart pushing my blood under my feet, into the earth.

My feet touch the floor.