My Shoes

Charles Simic

Shoes, secret face of my inner life:
Two gaping toothless mouths,
Two partly decomposed animal skins
Smelling of mice-nests.
My brother and sister who died at birth
Continuing their existence in you,
Guiding my life
Toward their incomprehensible innocence.
What use are books to me
When in you it is possible to read
The Gospel of my life on earth
And still beyond, of things to come?
I want to proclaim the religion
I have devised for your perfect humility
And the strange church I am building
With you as the altar.
Ascetic and maternal, you endure:
Kin to oxen, to Saints, to condemned men,
With your mute patience, forming
The only true likeness of myself.

Poems by This Author

Country Fair by Charles Simic
If you didn't see the six-legged dog,
Eyes Fastened With Pins by Charles Simic
How much death works,
In the Library by Charles Simic
There's a book called
Late September by Charles Simic
The mail truck goes down the coast
On this Very Street in Belgrade by Charles Simic
Pigeons at Dawn by Charles Simic
Extraordinary efforts are being made
Read Your Fate by Charles Simic
A world's disappearing.
Riddle by Charles Simic
Secret History by Charles Simic
Of the light in my room
The Initiate by Charles Simic
St. John of the Cross wore dark glasses
The Something by Charles Simic
Here come my night thoughts
The White Room by Charles Simic
The obvious is difficult
This Morning by Charles Simic
Enter without knocking, hard-working ant.
Watermelons by Charles Simic
Green Buddhas

Further Reading

Poems and Clothing
"What Do Women Want?"
by Kim Addonizio
Aedh wishes for the Cloths of Heaven
by W. B. Yeats
Black Jackets
by Thom Gunn
Black Nikes
by Harryette Mullen
Borrowed Dress
by Cathy Colman
by Peg Boyers
by Mark Doty
Dialect of a Skirt
by Erica Miriam Fabri
by Éireann Lorsung
by Tina Chang
Fat Southern Men in Summer Suits
by Liam Rector
Ode to a Dressmaker's Dummy
by Donald Justice
Old Coat
by Liam Rector
Red Shoes
by Honor Moore
by Robert Pinsky
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
Black Nikes
by Harryette Mullen
Derrick Poem (The Lost World)
by Terrance Hayes
New Shoes
by Honor Moore
Red Shoes
by Honor Moore
Red Slippers
by Amy Lowell
The European Shoe
by Michael Benedikt