When I fall to the ground, my hands grind into the gravel as I attempt to catch myself. The skin pulls away from my palms, exposing raw flesh and releasing the blood. It pools, warmly, beneath my fingers and the fresh wounds gradually begin to pulse and burn.

I wince and raise my head to the sky, watching two black birds chase each other across the sun's face, causing flashing shadows. I push my hands into the earth, my nerves twitching at the sharp pain it brings, and shove myself back onto my feet.

The world shifts and curls along its orbit, pulling me, infintesimally, closer to the night. The wind sucks by me and cools the back of my neck. Its scent is mixed with campfires and gasoline.

My eyes swivel to the left, then the right. Straining, almost painfully, to see what is around without turning my head.

An old bench. A tree with its branches cut just out of my reach. A water fountain with a wrinkled soda can lying below it.

I lift my foot and let it hover to see how long I can. Not long enough to matter. My foot thumps back to the ground, quietly, felt within my bones rather than heard with my ears.

My thumbs rub the center of my palms, reminding me bitterly of the hurt that still remains there. Already rusting into dark red lumps, the blood and bits of skin tear away from my hands as my thumbs brush against them. The bright and dull fragments of my body cling to my thumbs in streaky, odd collections.

My palms pulse in time with my heart. I lower my hands and wipe them on my jeans. The blood leaves my hands and coats the fabric and soaks into it. But that does not bother me. I assume it will wash out.

A low hum whispers its way into the soles of my feet, itching them with impatience. They are ready to be off, so I oblige them.

Together we move as one unit, swishing my arms and legs, tossing my head from side to side. Creating wind and breath and life.

Down a cracked side walk we go, headed toward the sun, but always it alludes us.

A single drop of blood runs down from my hand, dangling stubbornly from the edge of my pinky, before trembling and letting go. It lands somewhere on the pavement behind us, but I do not notice, for it is only a very small part of me.