United States
42° 35' 23.8164" N, 71° 27' 13.2624" W

he finds his way home after a night lost in the city
the sound of the highway murmurs softly and he shakes while lying in his bed
his body rumbles as he sits up to take off his shoes

he takes them off one by one and then removes each sock and looks at his feet.

his callouses have softened
he no longer runs barefoot through the night
his feet are covered by sharp patent leather and he remembers the naked homes of barefoot days
as he puts the new dark stiff homes into his closet.

he is uncomfortable in his bedroom,
in his house,
in the homes he has placed gently into his closet,
so he walks outside barefoot.

And he walks, with the clocks in all the homes singing the time, a steady reminder of the illimitable
he walks with the stars singing their anthem of holy fire to the infinite audience of space

he relishes the stars, forever naked and shining even as the moon sleeps
and he howls at the constellations, who simply shine back at him,
telling their stories from days gone by when the sky was not clouded
with city smoke and black shoes and empty bottles but was unhindered and sought to
for the answers that nobody knew they had the questions for

the questions that he wished he had asked years before, and had lived according to the answers
the stars would have given him.

But instead he bought the black shoes, and has been walking away from the stars and their secrets
with his feet safely hidden
safely silenced
from the stories the stars whispered to him years before

the years have passed by and the stars are screaming from the sky
as he runs through the midnight streets and late night avenues,
kicking bottle after bottle as if he were the only quarterback on the planet,
blowing the veil of city smoke out of his face as he runs faster, and faster, and faster until
he throws the city off his shoulders and down into the cloud of dust behind him
and breathes real air, feels it rush into his throat and fill up his body
and he laughs

he laughs a real laugh, the type of laugh that you always remember creating but never why
and the stars laugh and he and the stars laugh together as the sky pours itself into his fingertips

and he and the stars cry big fat beautiful tears at being together once again and his hands are exploding
from the art that has been poured into him but he contains it

and he contains himself
and he sits.

He sits with his naked feet stretched out before him and his newly naked heart,
pumping fresh new red life

and he listens as the stars tell him those bedtime stories that everyone wants to hear
but no one ever knows how to tell
and he listens, and he sleeps, as the clocks in all the homes wind down


and eventually


he, sleeping softly with sound of the stars singing their lullabies
the stars now sleeping soundly, knowing that one of their children has come back home.


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