dirt

Other figures emerge out of the rubbish – a sudden movement of colour, the ground opens and human form rises up, a tall shape coming into focus above the carpet of litter. A young woman picks her way up the hill, lifting with one hand the front of her white skirt. She climbs away from the crumpled settlements and heads towards the highest tip which is whiter and more clearly defined than the terrain beneath. There are no tracks on the crag where she treads, no well-worn routes to follow up the hillside heaving with flies and rotting heat. In places the rubbish has swallowed the soil, now a bulging lava of plastic. She steps carefully between sacks and bags and shoes and bottles, holding an easy balance as she tiptoes beneath an overhang of sun-bleached waste. I watch her anxiously. The rubbish mountain is unpredictable, boobytrapped with deep sludge bogs that swallow a full-grown adult in seconds. Sinking forever walking on a treadmill of rubbish.

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