She wore them with silk and black sheers, Her winter legs twin moons under lace– New shoes. handmade, gleaming, polished As a lake at twilight or a new mirror: Fashioned for men, but cut for a woman. He wanted her, he said, wearing those shoes. Dreaming as they measure her shoeless, A cobbler in Florence, his tape shearing Her foot, no question a woman Requires such shoes. Wear them with lace, Signora, offering brush and polish. The saddle's rough, but the toe will mirror All he undoes, her each gesture mirror His guiding one, as she rises in shoes Made for holding ground, for polished Floors, for business in suits and sheers. When I wear them, she muses, will he unlace And unravel me? Take have and woman Me? His hands open her skirt, manning And mixing until her face is his mirror, Till he seats and unties her, untangling laces, Loosening, pulling, prizing back shoe Edge, cherry insoles flushed, he shears The tongue from each sweat-polished Instep. Forthright now, as if polishing, She fingers his face, pale as a woman's In fugitive streetlight, her hands sheer Contentment, his eyes closed in the mirror Hers are. Kick, he says, off with the shoes! She does, fingers through his like lacing, And his hand breaks from hers, unlaces Stocking from garter, quick as a polish Cloth snapping. Take off your shoes, She says. I want you naked as a woman. I like hair on shoulders, I like mirrors When they tangle light. Outside sirens shear Night as if a swerve of polish could unmirror Sheer dark, the man and woman whispering Always wear lace! Do you like my shoes?
From Red Shoes by Honor Moore, published by W.W. Norton & Company, Inc. Copyright © 2005 by Honor Moore. Reprinted by permission of Honor Moore. All rights reserved.