The slippers are on parade today. They run down the sidewalk and down the gutters, down the sewers and into the lake outside of town. Under a bridge where lovers smoke and over the ocean where a car stuck in neutral rusts and stains the sea and scares the fish and invites the sharks and the eels.

The slippers are on parade onto somebody's net who is too poor and out of luck to feel happy or sad about his catch. He snags them and a couple tuna before tossing the net and the tire and the tennis ball back into the sea. The slippers are on parade on the bottom of feet, the fishermen's feet first, before he realizes they don't reach his toes and he passes them onto his daughter's feet, the feet with the highest scores in class and a smile on her face and a scar under her eye and the stitches on her clothes and the thin toes.

The slippers are on parade, stomping on dirty carpet and rotting wood. Stomping around ash blackened walls and misty windows. Stomping into broken glass and alcohol puddles.

The slippers are on parade when the daughter plays with dolls and pretends that they're her parents even though she pretends she has the dolls too and that she has real parents.

The slippers are on parade outside the window, on top of a pile of garbage in a dumpster, kicked off the daughter's feet when the men in uniforms picked her up and put the father in handcuffs and made him know that he was worthless and gave her a pair of shoes and new clothes without stitches and dolls that were dolls and parents that were parents and a life that was a life. The slippers get dumped into a truck, among bottles and banana peels and pregnancy tests and newspapers. The slippers are dumped with other slippers, worm out, some broken, some no longer slippers, some no longer a pair. The slippers are quiet and disappear and become trash and become nothing.

The slippers are on paradeā€¦