Lots of layers of broken things, I thought as I picked my way up the mountain of rubble. A steel grey sky, jagged and harsh coughed sobriety to the scene like a dusty 1970s tv detective with a grizzled mustache.
I took a step and a slab of concrete slid down the mound 10 feet with me on top. The smell of old tar and crumpled summer days filled my nostrils. I sneezed into my arm. A red gash in my shin bled onto the rocks. I wiped my nose. One brick spelled out "LIV" in tagged script. I couldn't tell what it meant. Tiny pieces settled like dust on my skin; the late sunlight striped the sedimentary layers. A basketball court ground up when the high school couldn't pay to maintain it anymore. Then, an aging freeway overpass that crumbled in an earthquake. A sidewalk. A dead building. The artwork of children who never learned to speak what they feel. Here and there some sticks, a few brave weeds. I shoved a rock of each into my pocket.
Wheezing and bent, I got to the top. Below me a silver river cut through a canyon of debris piled up high. I couldn't see any grass, but somehow a handful of scraggly trees found a pathway along the water. I stumbled down the other side, overcome by the need to curl up near nature's remnants and rest.