Anisa Gandevivala

I say, my feet


have walked so many miles

across the ocean, I wear a slipper of salt wounds,


they’ve climbed every hill you call a mountain,

these brown boots are giants that do not crush you,


when you ask me, white girl, why I have so many shoes,

and, don’t I remember what scorched earth feels like,


my skin burnt like amber from the coals I’ve had

to walk on to prove how pure my being, my vision


like the point of these blue suede heels, words so keen

like the point of every needle sewing dreams


embroidered into my mojris, all colors of the rainbow

I bring for you to see and you ask why I should make


myself beautiful after everything I’ve been through,

I look straight at you, into you, through you to the sun


at the horizon my green and yellow pumas have already reached;

I tell you I have arches in a family of red, flat-footed mary-janes,


that a Jyotish once told me I have a beauty spot on my sole,

it means I will travel and live in a foreign country —


I share that I have been walking a long time, dear friend

and must take care of myself, that my feet are a perfect shape


and size I rub from heel to toes each night and soothe the pain

with these hands, I say, my hands


Anisa Gandevivala is a poet, writer and artist who grew up in India, grew up some more in the U.S. and now, is a kid again, living in Columbus, Ohio. In another time, place or dimension, Anisa might have been Doctor Who, Yoda or Arya Stark.