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
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,
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
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
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