Magazine, website & books written by teens since 1989

Song Of The Sole (With Apologies To Walt Whitman) This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine.

By
   I have known them by their shoes

young lovers especially, unsure of everything but the fact that they must walk, in step, down sterile high-school hallways, perfectly

synchronized even in breath and heartbeat, trudging knee-deep through the treacherous quicksand floods of desire

his running shoes trail her dainty boots, a step behind and the face above blank but for the vacuous expression of one possessed by

some B-movie demon; he is plainly scriptless in a bad actor sort of way, desperate to read what lines he may as they appear

on her face

or she may trot after him, nondescript in clean white socks, always by his side - hypothalamus, hypothalamus - and some protective

reflex stifles thought with a giggle and a smile for him, and downcast eyes with quivering, mascara'd lashes admire his

manly hiking boots yet again - appendicitis, appendectomy - never mind

if he's faithful; she will be, to her dying day, even if he fights to let her go

You will know them by their shoes

look well, for her toenails were painted in a last flash of creative individuality, when many different, brilliant crayon-colors seemed

like fun, a good idea instead of laughingstock for Them

and They laugh as one collective mind whose heart is dessicated, dehydrated by years of Noxema and Accutane, and stand on false

security with their brand-name athletic shoes, shiny new cross-trainers, wealth, status, and power in a stomp of the heel

that crushes the dream of Day-Glo toes

Know them by their shoes

as a pair of scuffled slippers loses left and right in tripping eager pursuit of the proud Waterproof Sandals of the Greek god, the

Adonis or Narcissus of adolescent fantasy

and he turns the corner to favor the vomit-colored floor tiles with his presence, alighting on earth from his place in the clouds (no

wings on his heels but that he wishes there were) just a moment - he drinks at the fountain, ah to be that supple stream

between his Lips - then soars on in Divine Oblivion

Know him by his shoes

for this pair is new and they seem too big, and he in his awkwardness at these his new appendages is prone to stumbling steps and

frequent fits of apology to those walking in front of him

such footwear! just sensible to a fault - he crosses his legs in anticipation of an endlessly trivial conversation - covers for the feet

and no doubt modestly priced (Mom's a bargain shopper) if not particularly stylish - and words stretch out along the hours-

minutes-eons-nanoseconds, all around and through all subjects insubstantial, time being relative, as Einstein said, but never

to Science or the ubiquitous crushing bore

Know her by her shoes

even as she has cast them aside, kicking slender legs in the air, wiggling toes in spasms, orgasms of ticklish delight - if her legs aren't

slender, so much the better, admire her dimples and kiss them one by one by one

and watch her walk off with a spring in her step that swings her hips just for you, a bounce-jiggle-quiver of your shared memory,

mud-caked, tattered canvas sneakers in one hand, and a sigh for the pungent sensuality of bare feet

Know by your shoes

that a different drummer may be awfully hard to hear sometimes

and wonder if it's ever possible to really match another's rhythm or whether feet always touch down in lopsided syncopation

regardless of the urge to conform

and that as much as Earth glows with Heavenly flames, and common bushes burn with God, he who sees has toes that are stubbed

and often bruised

And know by your sole

(by the innermost depths of your being)

that grass feels green and your feet bask in glory, and that Eternity is no more than the black mud that squishes between your toes

and around your soul as it grows from the earth-warm truth of you




This work has been published in the Teen Ink monthly print magazine. This piece has been published in Teen Ink’s monthly print magazine.






Post a Comment

Be the first to comment on this article!

bRealTime banner ad on the left side
Site Feedback