for Muntazer al-Zaidi
Duck shoes! I saw them in a catalogue.
Not ugly waterproof kicks, or flippers
for me to flop about the deck on wet days,
or wear to the pond in the park. Not duck, shoes.
Nor shoes for a pet we might keep in a kennel,
it was late last night the duck was speaking of you,
But mallard heels in black, a duo of duckling heads
perched at one’s toes, leather upper, insole, sole.
Designer Chie Mihara, decidedly retro, with a snap
closure strap looped round the ankle, €300 a pair,
not each. Duck shoes. For me! Come on, just think,
Just think of all the shoeless years! Those Cork stones
that rubbed a woman’s sole to heck, the women still
barefooting it across Africa in search of a well,
and the years that were all too much about shoes,
Bound lotus feet, Marie Antoinette, Imelda Marcos.
Think of the spectacle! The bird-bodied celebrity
chicks who had everyone in thrall with their Blahniks,
and the nine-year-old girl who stepped with both
of her feet onto a land mine last week—
But not us! And so when we lay down in our double
bed last night it was duck shoes I didn’t wear
to tramp all over your sleek white back,
trace with a toe the seam of your glammed-up cock,
raise my two legs like arms raised to cheer
over both of our grinning heads again, my dear.