Southside Boulevard near Deerwood

by Tim Gilmore, 7/15/2015

(Half-Cylinder Sleeping Structure in the Woods)

What does shelter mean in a post-apocalyptic world? The structure of the structure comprises chain-link fence and chicken wire.

Aren’t woods untouched by years? Half-buried tire. Cheap beer cans becoming once again earth. Campsite on the bank of a stream. Maybe they lived here a month, maybe a year.

Small shelter is three feet wide and two feet high and seven feet long, roughly the measurements of a coffin, but for sleeping. Half-cylinder. On all sides of these woods, apartment complexes, car dealerships, shopping malls, unaccredited “colleges” in strip-mall anchor-store settings.

The salvaged fence of the bed in the woods is woven with twigs and grass and dried mud caked into a kind of earthen stucco. Discovering it now means its sleeper hadn’t long departed, because the next rain hadn’t washed this mudcakestucco back down into the ground.

On all sides of these woods—Toyota and Cadillac and Hummer dealerships, Borders Books and Music, Bed Bath & Beyond, Family Christian Book Store, Best Buy, Sports Authority, Starbucks, and David’s Bridal—and inside these woods, a place to sleep made of wire and grass and mud.

The “Middle of Nowhere” can be found, it turns out, in the Middle of Anywhere, the two perhaps being much the same thing, and broken glass in the woods are things that last subsumed in things that are constant change.