In the morning we find our shoes

heel to toe,

toe sometimes perpendicular to the arch of the other shoe,

or scattered in uncharted directions:

one on its sole, the other rocked to its side

running away from each other or embraced,

either way symbols of the day’s journeys

dirtied with a wad of gum or a clump of mud


This is as close to reality as the human race

will ever know it, the corns, the bunions, scars


Barefoot then, shoes tossed in serendipitous rooms

late at night we examine big toes

as they curl towards us,

gnarly, crooked with many stories to tell,

toe nails smooth and blank

as ancestral ghosts,

grinning yea, grimacing nay


To pacify their wrath and our fears,

we read the bottoms of our feet like tea leaves,

never remembering how far they’ve traveled,

why or where they’ve been,

at day’s end caring only

how we see them the morning after,

how our shoes fall