There’s a crowd of me under my bed. By which I mean to say
that all my shoes have lined up as if called for some secret
meeting about yours truly. I see them! Oh yes, they stand
in pairs — how else? — mostly brown, neatly placed, so far
back I cannot see where my ankles should be. I can’t see
me. Some shoes point at each other. One stands
unattached, unmatched yet assuredly so. All of them:
Size 9. They have gathered to talk or retread (haha)
the many places I’ve faltered and failed.
I can break up this pedal congress though. I can reach
down and blindly pull out a boot my father bought me
at DSW in 2012. There’s something Russian about it,
this boot with its pre-weathered leather stitched
together in workmanlike rows. Alone, separated
from the group, this boot looks defiantly casual —
its laces loose, unconcerned. Its tongue curled back,
reluctant to speak… I put the boot back . I turn back
to other things. Like words. Like words that shine.
Tomorrow I’m throwing that shoe and its match out.
They don’t know it but nothing is safe here, nothing.
Nothing will walk away from this defeat or despair,
last of all that damn pair. Not on my watch, they won’t.
Drew Pisarra worked in the digital sphere on behalf of “Mad Men,” “Rectify” and “Breaking Bad” but now writes plays, fiction, and poetry. His work has been produced off-off-Broadway and appeared in Poydras Review, Thin Air, and St. Petersburg Review among other publications. His collection of short stories, Publick Spanking, was published by Future Tense.