How It Feels to Be Bodiless
So often in the center of a street
a single shoe—frayed laces, fractured heel—
lies sad and inert as a dead bird,
as if he too fell from the sky and waits
like a fool for the other to drop,
but she doesn’t. Somewhere in the heavens
she dances her indie hop jauntily,
happy perhaps that her bumble-tongued mate
took at last that lonely flying leap,
lost himself in rubber-wheeled traffic,
the perfect place to bare his step-worn soul.
No one wants him now.
He will be battered by everything, elements,
Hondas, Harleys, harried pedestrians
who kick him from underfoot to save themselves
from falling in his place. He will discover
what it means to lie in the gutter.
He will, like all of us someday, understand
how it feels to be bodiless forever,
a vessel for nothing, a thing without use—
that freedom, that terrible freedom.
About the Author: Jo Angela Edwins has published poems in various venues, recently including Amethyst Review, Breakwater Review, Feral, and Thimble Literary Magazine. Her chapbook Play was published in 2016. She has received awards from Winning Writers, Poetry Super Highway, and the SC Academy of Authors and is a Pushcart Prize, Forward Prize, and Bettering American Poetry nominee. She lives in Florence, SC, where she serves as the poet laureate of the Pee Dee region of the state.
More by Jo Angela Edwins:
Image Credit: Chase Dimock “Albuquerque Light” (2021)