This selection, chosen by Guest Curator Genevieve Pfeiffer, is from Head to Toe of It by Rikki Santer, released by Kelsay Books in 2021.
They gentrify the old West with python & ostrich or click the homesick heels of ruby, the lazy slip-on slip-off of loafers, inventions of slogans pithy— moon shoes: mini trampolines for your tootsies. My father’s army of polished Florsheim nines line up in his closet in his closet like an obedient narrow-sized parade, my new daisy Kmart sandals for flirty cheese fries on opening day of the fair, splotches of chocolate milkshake assault my saddled oxfords which in turn deliver a bruise (the size of a coconut) on the mean bitch shin of schoolmate, negative heels only make campus hills steeper but college boyfriend’s blue suede shoes make me fall in love for a lifetime, I ain’t no dominatrix but I know how to work thigh-high boots intimate as skin, then tibial tendon surgery cause my stilettos to mutiny. Arrogance of jeweled soles that patronize others to manipulate their bootstraps, how to shoe the world, dominance of Air Jordans dangle from a power line, at the sit-in we throw frenzied sneakers at the mayor, too many screenshots of her Jimmy Choos but not worse than those evil stepsisters cutting off their heel or toes. Gibran believed that the earth is always jazzed whenever it feels our soles bare but we also stand tall in shoes that resemble buildings, armadillos, or handcrafted in the wee hours by elves. Wear dreams on your feet my mother cooed, dew-sprinkled sprigs of rosemary and thyme tucked overnight under tongues.
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