This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Alaina Hanchey, is from Portrait of a Woman Walking Home by Anne Casey, released by Recent Work Press in 2021.
Portrait of a woman walking home
I like the way the sinking sun slips a golden aureole around you on that last straight stretch of twilit street just before you round the corner falling suddenly under the towering penumbra of these deserted edifices so recently bustling with workers exiting— their veins visibly throbbing with concerns of the day—now soaring in silence stripped of activity as if subjected to the unexpected descent of some cataclysmic event while you were finishing up that last pile dropped off by your manager with such urgency it needed completing before his return tomorrow morning and though you held up your end, now finding despite your own best instincts you are wandering halo-less—alone—down this dusk-lit street clutching your bag against a skateboarder shooting out from under a gaping facade like that time with the razor-blade-wielding trio you inexplicably chased and though you escaped unharmed there is always that scar of doubt lingering alongside the stomach-churning whispers and worse— the still-felt imprints—but there is no escaping the current situation and that really is such a nice pair of sheer black stockings perfectly paired with those moderate heels showing off your finely toned calves your hem gliding just above the delicately curved backs of your knees stirring in unison with the soft waves around your raised but ever-so-slight shoulders and you know though you do your prescribed daily workout with just enough resistance you will never quite muster the power you would need and it takes a certain set of eyes to realise on your approach through the now-profound dusk to the welcome arc of each lamppost that your silky blouse illuminates so precisely from behind one can pick out the exact lines of your body moving so fluidly within its satiny folds sashaying with the swing of your hips though I know you are making extreme efforts to lessen the sway there is a certain gait you cannot ameliorate in this corporate get-up—skirt over heels over female pelvis and it is so obviously more-than-a-little inadvisable for you to have placed yourself in this delicate position where you might be seen to provoke a certain reaction in an onlooker of a particular disposition—it being late and you quite clearly under-dressed for the hour and with every breath you take wondering why it is we have to watch ourselves like this.
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