Faltered Footwear / After My 5 Cents, I Ran

by Cynthia Roby

Faltered Footwear
Deflated and dusty soles, desert-dry tongue,
aglets in a state of postmortem rigidity, eyelets
ringed in jaundice-yellow. Our walks, our past,
now in permanent cessation. The miles we traveled,
the combing through, the crushing of,
autumn leaves. From beneath the table
you spied me sway, barefoot with closed eyes,
to Etta James’ “At Last.” That night the bottle of Pinot Noir
descended into room temperature and spilled
into a single glass. These things I recall as your warmth,
your covering, are carried away. I shiver. My thoughts of you
grow cold as your throat line stiffens, your quarter deflates,
the posturing of your vamp withers.
Our life is a whisper of yesterday.


after my 5 cents, I ran
Marvin said here’s a pet bird,
locked tight in a shoebox it lived.
5 cents, it’s yours, that’s my word!
In my room this bird would have lived.
Marvin, my 5 cents—they ran!
I stood there, dumfounded you see,
a dead pet bird in my hands
so after my 5 cents, I ran.

Category: Poetry