Red shoes. Gold shoes. Spikes. Mile high clogs. A different pair on my feet every time we have sex. Without them he goes limp, this foot fetished boyfriend of mine. He scours shoe stores, the Salvation Army, unlocked museum cases. Why couldn’t he have become fixated on corsets or wigs? He’s my big secret. I don’t discuss him with my best friend, hide my oddly shod feet from the Presbyterians around the corner. We go at it for hours. I’m in a daze. But what to do about the growing bunions, the swollen toes? One day I’ll be forced to give him up, spend my savings on a top podiatrist.
A time will come in your life when you too will feel like a prisoner. It may be love keeping you boxed in or hate sucking out the air around you. It may be illness clipping your wings, or simply the weight of years … no matter.
unpicking stitches from
the scavenger sucks the vacuum out of a bottle of spring mineral water
one upon one
the puppies warm
her sagging breasts
R. Suresh babu
Shelling a nuclear plant is never a good idea.
now you see us
now you don’t
The Luitpold Bridge in Munich is closed. Climate activists have glued themselves to the road disrupting traffic. They are not afraid of a jail sentence, they say. Part of me yearns to be there with them. Making statements, taking action. Instead, I follow signs for an alternative route, like so many ahead of me, and so many behind. Our long, slow-moving queue snakes around our principles.
on the radio…
instructions for instant
My twin brother was absorbed into my all female left eyeball in the womb, leaving me with a lazy eye and urges to look up little girl’s skirts, unsuccessfully.
the three blind mice
write their memoirs
Martin was sitting in an ante-room waiting to be called for interview for summer work with the rail and road transport system in Ireland. It was easy to get temporary work there.
– Come in, groaned a voice from the interview room.
Martin went in. A lowly official was putting his socks back on, having cut his toe nails.
– So you’re looking for summer work?
– Yes, I’m in my third year in college.
– Third year. How many years have you to do?
– Four? And what are you studying?
– English, Philosophy and Psychology.
– I don’t know what kind of a job you’ll get out of that?
Neither did Martin.
stuck to the ceiling
No one immune. Floods. Wildfires. So what would she do if …? Motheaten teddy bear? Priceless vase? She glances again at the middle distance. Light to carry. Something she will always take with her.
flat concrete surface
of the disused office block
gulls in the sunrise
Note: title taken from Shakespeare’s sonnet 10
AKA a souped-up spaghetti hoop.
the last bus
Democracy is dying. The sky is not falling. Democracy, I said, is falling. Does anyone remember civics? The rights and duties of citizens? Do you know your rights? Your duties? This is a form of torture. Death by a thousand turned heads. Turned downward as if in mourning but no, not sorrow. Oblivion. Most folks are on their phones while Democracy is dying. Calling out to be saved. But we were taught not to answer calls we don’t recognize. Democracy. The freedoms we call our own. Individualism. Does any of this ring a bell? Hello? Time is running out. Democracy is dying and all we do is watch? Remember, it is the poet, the artist and the intellectual who are among the first to be rounded up under authoritarian regimes?
after killing it
the skin wings
of a bat
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