• worn soles.mp33:35

worn soles

soft tan leather stitched up tough without a mark or scuff
high end brand and brand new feel lacking only the box
shelf displayed side cowboy boots of imitation snakeskin
mine to own for only eighteen bucks
you can getta sharp deal at the Broadway Goodwill
but you better check the loop for the holes
I walked outta there with a near as new pair
strutting ten feet tall on some worn down soles
where be the mysize feet for which
they first were brand new bought
do they pace a solitary cell
sentenced to regret and rot?
did they wake one night to a bad luck moon and trip on a gordian knot
then sign their name to the “too soon” page of obits the papers forgot?
I choose my town as I choose my shoes
least for the function and most for the flavor
I choose my path like I choose my shoes
with compass of gut and an absence of waver
I shrug off my chips as I shoehorn the heels
I slip off my vest as I tie true the laces
I unhinge preconceptions as I quick once brush the tips
and undress inhibitions setting off for off grid spaces
my feet are not fond of these shoes
though the fit is snug they blister with rebellion
though the insoles soft like mounds of down
they ache and rub resenting
my feet have splashed and puddle slopped
loose wrapped in rubber flips cheap flopped
and felt exotic earthdirt shift beneath a heartbeat’s weight
on leisure sunrise walks awash in sea nymph kisses from the tide
my feet do not appreciate this patent calfskin costume
or buy into their spit shined social aura
wistful for barefoot decadence ingrained by grains of sand
on the beaches of the southern ‘sphere’s Gomorrah
still I ride my goodwill wheels on a roadtrip of wild capers
returning them to the likely scene of their first life’s after dark routine
my shoes march me to mischief and justify my means
they tax write off my fishing trips to burgundy midnight ravines
like a pair of sage crusaders god-scheming my next conquest
they waltz me through wild tours of the Larkin liquor stores
and hustle-step my heels from O’Farrell’s to New Century
nary a “by-your-leave” nor a “mind the lowbrow entry”
like a scoundrel on a scavenger hunt without aid of a list
I high-step through the old town like a smut light nativist
and tap dance  ‘round the spills and stains of Crazy Horse’s joint
while California courtesans starved clientele anoint
and all the while those rubber soles
they slide and scrape and slip and lose a little tred with every step
as we graffitti in our wake another soled out story
on a hell bent spiral nowhere route that offramps short of glory 
morning shrewdly intervenes and I BART back to Oakland
emerging from the 12th street stairs with a shirt cleaned shoe in each beat hand
naked toes on cold concrete apathetic to the stares
commuters eager to compare my lack of life style choice to theirs
the cashier looks them over/ shrugs/ returns them to the shelf
beside the still unbought still imitation snakeskin boots
I turn toward Ogawa Plaza where worn soles rest easy
on tufts of green grass doused in dew and wholesome to the roots