That story of the red shoes
so wished for that they hurt:
longings that grew fledgling wings
and couldn’t be undone
the way you might rip sticky tape from paper.
Feathered wishes in red leather
with buckles and trim straps
that danced you imaginings
and then danced them again.
sits at the doorstep
filed through mud and sand
all the mountains you walked –
so now it is curled to to your foot
like a bandage pressed to a certain kind of cut
and as the healing peels it back
I imagine keeping it forever
the way some people
keep bronze casts of baby’s feet
– because the healing is so fast
– mud, dust, these things mother’s wipe away –
and cannot be interrupted.
In my childhood it was always summer
The sky riddled blue
And tiny cicadas clicked and hummed
As if they held out heat in their voices
Beaches stretched white rimmed forever
To the cusp of indigo horizon
So distant it shocked your eyes
Into seeing mirage islands
And reams of crinkled fish.
Grass dried into crisp arrangements
And clattered in the breezes – if they came.
Heat was everywhere and ripened the orchard fruit
All powdery and fresh
Our own spotted apricots and dripping plums.
If we were quiet we could taste our grandmother’s loganberries
Read books in the pear tree
Till bedtime came and went
And we were deliciously called home
In the evening the sea was smooth enough – even for my cousins –
Green and cool as their promises to write:
It was always like this.
The jet plane year
Left streaks across the sky
(Above hefty cumulus
This smear of time
Unfastens its hold
(even on itself)
And returns to water drops
That take less than a second
to hit the ground