I’m aware that my Nikes are used goods, that their synthetic arches once succumbed to the crush of someone else’s faulty feet, that they kept pace with someone else’s life; a slow jog through the backstreets of the middle class, I’m aware that after a time someone sought the company of new shoes and raised a pair, factory- fresh from a box, like neonate rubber twins. I’m aware of second hand books, their pages daubed in the fingertips of absent ex-bibliophiles, their ogled, yellow bodies sporting cleft spines, old sages adept at re-hashing ancient tales. I’m aware of imperfect china cups raised to lips that no longer speak. I’ve let my arms invade the spaces left behind in ceremonial jackets, green kimono sleeves that hang lank with memories of old kabuki, sweaters made to fit narrower backs, their knitted flesh struggling to accommodate my clumsy bones, among my loot, a pre-loved string of paste pearls enmeshed with a single strand of red hair; even the bag I carry was once replete with someone else’s money. I’ve gathered eight strangers, reconditioned their legs, heard them creak under the weight of new kin, I’ve drawn them close to my table. I am aware that the past says much through discarded things.
Suzi Mezei is a Sri Lankan born Australian writer. Her work is published in print and online in journals and anthologies such as Aniko, Cordite and The Amphibian both in Australia and overseas. She is the recipient of The Mayor’s Short Story Writing Award and plans to complete a poetry collection during an Artist’s residency next year. She is currently preparing her home for the arrival of two new non-human companions.