New Boots

No one has complimented my boots. I bought them
after Valentine's day, using a gift certificate

from my darling wife at the Fluevog store on Prince street.
Curved lines of narrow white stitching and natural

edging on blue-ish black leather–a sense of ... movement?
Grace? Hell, they're just boots, but the heel's not too thick,

they're well crafted and fit. Not too showy or plain.
Not sure what they say to Manhattan, here, where any fetish

is presented, the details noted somewhere in dancing
electrons, colliding lights; written then filmed

then made into a store. Forgive me, these are the third
pair of boots I've ever owned. In 1987,

the morning after the inky night I wore my first
pair, I woke to a long-haired, red-bearded man

high on a work ladder near the edge of my mattress,
slopping spackle over a crack in the wall,

which was also a crack in the house, through which
I'd spied visitors walking through the grass and gravel

driveway. He nodded at the boots, "You in the army?"
"Nope," I said. "Load trucks," just as a snail-sized glob of spackle

dropped from his putty knife and splatted on the hot plate
which sat atop the mini-fridge, gradually hardened

into rock, and is there now, likely buried under
a mountain until the apocalypse. Please don't

worry over my second pair of boots. This isn't
about listing all my g-d damn footwear. You see,

I no longer spend my days where strangers not strangers
look at my feet all the time, and would notice I'm wearing

new shoes, just as I would notice theirs. Foot-
wear is a safe topic of discourse in those dry,

over lit places. "Oh, I like your new shoes," they'd offer.
"Thanks," I'd answer, "I got them on my lunch hour."

"Oh, were you able to eat lunch?"
"Not as I normally eat lunch," I'd answer, "today being shoe day."

"What did you eat for lunch?" I would then ask.

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notes on a found photo, part 2 an open letter to my onrushing midlife crisis (on tax day)

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