1. We are allowed shoes once a year.

                    Most days, we do not arrive.

When we enter the store, all we see are heels. We swarm the aisles until
the other clients mall, where the air is moist and sprawling.

We are alone with the shoes.

Reckless, unleashed.

2. At school, we are at home amidst acres of rock and pine. (Another
year. More sun. New fears. Our constant yawning in the season of heat.)
So bored and afraid of acquiring color in our cheeks, we steep beneath
the canopies and send fragrant notes to further East: “Bring us new
lenses! We will need a red car in the future.” We take glasses as an

                        Supreme chatterboxes, we’ve been, since Confirmation.

We have passed through the beading with our eyes open to bamboo
and tigers.

                                   We display and chew our ponytails, many of us,
gathered around the same studded pumps.

                                                                         At first they will feel
quite heavy, but blink and blink and blink until you no longer notice their

One foot may hoof before the file; another curves and sprites. My own
recounts a bus and a bottle.

Just another dog waiting…

Another mutt gumming your heels…

3. A long thin knife bestly does the toes.

Leave behind a lock or a nail: Our love is alive.

            We will be considering our actions all weekend, passing on pink
ice in a disposable box,

parts of us scraped, our expressions stiffening as the blood drains,

the sun a blight on the opera,

and, we will remember driving fast                    over a blue bridge
toward the ponies.

JoAnna Novak is the author of the chapbook SOMETHING REAL (Dancing Girl Press 2011). She is co-founder and editor of TAMMY. Her fiction and poetry have appeared in a number of journals, including La Petite Zine, JUKED, and ACTION, YES. She lives in Northampton, MA.