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Shoes Richard Garcia

You can tie knots in the laces to remind you of something, for instance, that your shoes are like holes and their heels are the shape of gravestones.

From a distance, one could be mistaken for a phone while you hold it to your ear in an effort to appear occupied when all you’re doing is sitting on a stump.

If they are attractive wing-tipped Florsheims with elaborate stitching, or velvety Italian loafers made of unborn calf leather, the kind James Dean wore in part two of Giant, they would be fought over by your jailers.

In a dream you hear something, look up, your shoes are flying upside down, their laces brushing against your forehead, plastic tips clicking against your glasses.

If your wife has just mopped the vestibule you have to take them off before you enter, and place them on the stoop, as if they were small, obedient but useless guard dogs.

What can you say to them at times like this except, Wait for me; or, Don’t let yourselves get stolen by a wild animal.

Whereas, they moan and complain more than your feet: You leave us out here alone in the cold. You always put the other one on first. When you want to make love you forget how our laces work, yank us off, throw us anywhere— blah-blah and so on, their tongues lolling.