NocillaThomas Bunstead's translation at The Quarterly Conversation:

At the moment when the wind gusts in from the south, the wind that arrives from Arizona, soaring up and across the several sparsely populated deserts and the dozen and a half settlements that over the years have been subject to an unstoppable exodus to the point that they’ve become little more than skele-towns, at this moment, this very moment, the hundreds of pairs of shoes hanging from the poplar are subjected to a pendular motion, but not all with the same frequency—the laces from which each pair hangs are of different lengths. From a certain distance it constitutes a chaotic dance indeed, one that, in spite of all, implies certain rules. Some of the shoes bang into each other and suddenly change speed or trajectory, finally ending up back at their attractor points, in balance. The closest thing to a tidal wave of shoes. This American poplar that found water is situated 125 miles from Carson City and 135 from Ely; it’s worth the trip just to see the shoes stopped, potentially one the cusp of moving. High heels, Italian shoes, Chilean shoes, trainers of all makes and colours (including a pair of mythical Adidas Surf), snorkelling flippers, ski boots, baby booties and booties made of leather. The passing traveller may take or leave anything he or she wishes. For those who live near to U.S. Route 50, the tree is proof that, even in the most desolate spot on earth, there’s a life beyond—not beyond death, which no one cares about any more, but beyond the body—and that the objects, though disposed of, possess an intrinsic value aside from the function they were made to serve. Bob, the owner of a small supermarket in Carson City, stops a hundred feet away. From the nearest to the farthest thing, he enumerates what he can see: first the very red mudflat, followed by the tree and the intricacies of its shadow, beyond that another mudflat, less red, dust-bleached, and finally the outline of the mountains, which appear flat, depthless, like the pictures they had in the Peking Duck Restaurant across from Western Union, which shut down, he thinks. But above all, seeing these overlapping strips of colour, the image that comes most clearly to mind is the differently coloured strata formed by the horizontally layered produce on his supermarket shelves. There’s a batch of bacon fries halfway up that come in with a little gift-like offering of round Danish butter biscuit tins strapped on with sticky tape, the lids of which feature a picture of a fir tree with baubles on (he doesn’t know this). Both trees are beginning to stoop.

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