Vertigo Walker and the Reality Sisters
Part I: The Creek
Part II: The Stream
Part III: Currents
Part IV: The River

Part I: The Creek

grass tickles her toes
sliding between them as she walks
thinning as she approaches the moist mud
her feet sink in just enough
to make popping noises when she lifts them
I watch her descend toward
the edges of the creek
the jagged rocks that no current
ever dulled do no daunt her
she steps blindly upon them
never slowing even as
a hidden glass shard catches her
only her eyes take notice
as they close
opening when the chestnut water
surrounds her ankles
focusing down the creek
the sounds of legs
pushing against the cushioning liquid
is a rhythm
a music I never dreamed of
I am rolling off my socks
I have to make lunch in two hours
I feel the cold water chill my toes
I have to make lunch in two hours
I am focusing down the creek

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Part II: The Stream

beyond a shroud of trees
the creek joins a stream
she never slows
she hasn’t said a word to me
but she has
voice I do not hear but understand
leading me through the knee-high water
numbing my legs
I should be tired
but we keep moving
we’ve been walking for hours
sun now on the other side of me
noise up ahead
a girl and her lover
entangled without fabric
we aren’t slowing
sloshing sounds of our legs
surprises them
scrambling for our clothes
watch us go by
noises behind us now
sounds of legs running through water
the girl is joining us
does she hear the voice?
her lover calling to her
we aren’t slowing

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Part III: Currents

current tries to pull us away
sticking to the shallow banks
we haven’t slowed
sun has risen and set twice
three more have joined us
passing under a major Interstate
lots of traffic
people rushing home
sound of breaking tires
burning rubber fills my head
horns flare loudly
venomy voices from above
blue Buick has stopped
woman in black gown
peers over the railing
I hear a hard splash
see her surface yards behind us
left her door open and engine running
four other cars have stopped
this is unreal
horns are splitting my ears
what have I started?
four women making their way down
falling in behind
do they hear the voice?
traffic has stopped
someone yells, “you crazy cunts!”
just barely hear
we aren’t slowing
approaching large city
glass and metal towers
glimmer in the distance
“you crazy cunts!”

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Part IV: The River

helicopters film us
rotor blades a typhoon of pain
cameras on road sides as well
eleven counting the one we follow
I have been walking for four days and nights
I am still walking
water is waist high even when shallow
I cannot feel my legs
my body a chrysalis of torment
every muscle screams at me
I ignore them
approaching first bridge
so many people watching from above
signs I can just barely read
"The Coming of Vertigo Walker is here"
"Vertigo Walker take me with you"
do they hear the voice?
cheers from above
screams from above
people throw things at us
try dropping things upon our heads
the two women holding signs
are pushed over the side
hit the water hard
last of us
Amazon woman
powerful and strong
stops walking
swims to the others
pulls them from the water
helps them to walk

we all stop walking
first time
wait for the others
one of the fallen is hurt
the strong woman carries her
we resuming walking

what is happening here?
traffic above has stopped
no cars are moving
all eyes upon us
I don't understand
the woman leading us
the signs called her Vertigo Walker
offers no answers
screams from above
women cheering us on
why are we being cheered?
what are we doing here?
we're walking
second bridge in sight now
worse than the first
cameras everywhere
women on bridge
hundreds of them
chanting mantras of admiration
dropping us food in plastic bags
I cannot believe my eyes
what is happening here?
I signs everywhere
like the ones before
one catches my eyes
huge and colorful
news people must have screwed up
the sign says Vertigo Walker
but the image upon it is mine
one girl leaps from the bridge
a cord attached to her legs
she bounces up just shy of the water
cuts herself free and joins us
one of the hundreds above
joined us
only one
who hears the voice
one one in hundreds?
I have been walking for four days
and twelve women have joined me
we are past the bridge
soon will be out of the city
but we are far from the ocean
there will be others
someone yells from above
"All rivers belong to you, Vertigo Walker!" we aren't slowing

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