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Formal Attire

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Rubber Soul
turning a small patch of grass into a hole
I’m nervous
shiny black, on green
that’s starting to turn my stomach
I turn my feet on their edges
avoid standing still
too still

This is a silent pair of shoes
hallowed floors
long and gleaming
like tall stained glass windows
polished
box
polished
speeches
black car
the art of holding it together

They are quiet
always at the back of my closet
I keep them in a bag
in the box that they came in
in a paper shroud
if I don’t look at them maybe—
maybe they won’t belong to me?

My cousin’s tiny shoes are two sad doll eyes
lifeless, simple, perfect, clean
do not tear

I prod the earth
everything is sanitary
and I think how ridiculous I must look in my mismatching white gloves

This is a mother
A Mother
in sneakers
seeking comfort
console, support
she’s stood for too long

This is what he would have wanted;
He never liked dressing up.

Always-going-somewhere shoes know how to breathe
dress, formal, special occasion
stand-still shoes
for once
don’t breathe



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