Good Shoes

Thu, 01/05/2017 - 10:35 -- ajs1993

Look,

there’s a reason they call us

“survivors” and “warriors.”

We wake up in the middle of the night,

eyes staring into the glow-in-the-dark stars we pasted long ago

and weep.

We pass by strangers on the street—

or are they just that, because they have

a nose just like—

hair just so—

and we wilt and shrink in our coats.

Sometimes it’s hard to eat our dinner

or focus on anything

but the beer bottle label we had been peeling apart.

 

But we still wake up,

crack our backs, brush our teeth,

and put on our shoes.

Sometimes they’re the good shoes

with toes sharp as daggers

to kill the cockroaches with.

Sometimes they’re heavy boots

steel-toed and smelling of engine oil

heavy and loud.

And sometimes it’s the old Keds,

no longer white but an amalgamation

of puddles and grass stains

and yellow marker from all the times we were bored to tears.

We pull on these sorts of shoes

and many others, too,

and walk out the door

with our battle cry bursting from our lips: I EXIST.

I EXIST.

I EXIST.

This poem is about: 
Me
My community

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