Black Nikes

Harryette Mullen

 
We need quarters like King Tut needed a boat. A slave could row him to heaven from his crypt in Egypt full of loot. We've lived quietly among the stars, knowing money isn't what matters. We only bring enough to tip the shuttle driver when we hitch a ride aboard a trailblazer of light. This comet could scour the planet. Make it sparkle like a fresh toilet swirling with blue. Or only come close enough to brush a few lost souls. Time is rotting as our bodies wait for now I lay me down to earth. Noiseless patient spiders paid with dirt when what we want is star dust. If nature abhors an expensive appliance, why does the planet suck ozone? This is a big ticket item, a thickety ride. Please page our home and visit our sigh on the wide world’s ebb. Just point and cluck at our new persuasion shoes. We’re opening the gate that opens our containers for recycling. Time to throw down and take off on our launch. This flight will nail our proof of pudding. The thrill of victory is, we’re exiting earth. We're leaving all this dirt.
 
Originally published in Santa Monica Review, fall 1997. Copyright © 1997 by Harryette Mullen. All rights reserved. Used by permission of the author.

Poems by This Author

Muse & Drudge [just as I am I come] by Harryette Mullen
just as I am I come
Muse & Drudge [why these blues come from us] by Harryette Mullen
why these blues come from us
All She Wrote by Harryette Mullen
Forgive me, I’m no good at this. I can’t write back. I
Page 1 / Sapphire's lyre styles by Harryette Mullen
Sapphire's lyre styles
Page 34 / if your complexion is a mess by Harryette Mullen
if your complexion is a mess
Page 35 / the essence lady by Harryette Mullen
the essence lady
Page 39 / arrives early for the date by Harryette Mullen
arrives early for the date
Page 5 / sun goes on shining by Harryette Mullen
sun goes on shining
Page 72 / mister arty martyr by Harryette Mullen
mister arty martyr
Present Tense by Harryette Mullen
Shedding Skin by Harryette Mullen
Pulling out of the old scarred skin
Souvenir from Anywhere by Harryette Mullen
Tanka Diary [Awakened too early on Saturday morning] by Harryette Mullen
Awakened too early on Saturday morning
Tanka Diary [Don't need picket fences, brick wall] by Harryette Mullen
Don't need picket fences, brick wall
[Hiking up Topanga Canyon] by Harryette Mullen
[My Visitor from Nebraska] by Harryette Mullen


Further Reading

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by W. B. Yeats
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Borrowed Dress
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Coat
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Couture
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Dialect of a Skirt
by Erica Miriam Fabri
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by Éireann Lorsung
Duality
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Fat Southern Men in Summer Suits
by Liam Rector
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by Charles Simic
Ode to a Dressmaker's Dummy
by Donald Justice
Old Coat
by Liam Rector
Red Shoes
by Honor Moore
Shirt
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The Plaid Dress
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
Upon Julia's Clothes
by Robert Herrick
Wedding Dress
by Michael Waters
White T-shirt
by Lewis Ellingham
Poems and Shoes
Derrick Poem (The Lost World)
by Terrance Hayes
My Shoes
by Charles Simic
New Shoes
by Honor Moore
Red Shoes
by Honor Moore
Red Slippers
by Amy Lowell
The European Shoe
by Michael Benedikt