Photograph by Kathleen Babarsky.

Roadkill Shoe (Intersection of Spencer and Maule)

For most of a week,
it lay in the crotch
of the same curve where
the man died, flung
from his scooter
head-first into the yellow
fire hydrant.
His grandson behind him
landed unharmed.
I saw
the black plastic shrouded body lying
at roughly the same spot
the shoe lies now.
In fact, I can see it from the break room window,
while my Teriyaki Shrimp Rice Bowl rotates
in the humming microwave.
Later, I will pass it while driving
home. A high-heeled women’s shoe,
an anonymous black leather pump,
lies on its side; its footless cavity
gapes at the pavement.
Perhaps she caught it on the car frame
as she escaped a drunken argument with the driver,
or maybe she kicked it off, fighting
a ma who grabbed her from sidewalk
and pulled her into the open door of a van.
Most likely, it occurs to me the next morning
as I pass it again, the shoe is a castaway,
fallen from the top
of an overstuffed garbage bag,
collateral damage of a hasty
break-up move.
The shoe offers no answers as it shuffles
slowly between the yellow turning
lane markers, until one day, the street
sweeper claims it, and it disappears.
Joan Robinson is a recent graduate from University of Nevada, Las Vegas with a MFA in creative writing. Her work has appeared in 300 Days of Sun, Interim, (r)evlove, The One Three Eight and Chance. She enjoys exploring ghost towns with her husband and wandering the Mojave’s vast spaces.