Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Brian Campbell: My Right Foot & My Left Foot


Long bound by hard leather
the toes now hook
warped by the torque
of a hundred million steps.
Each knuckle a knoll
worn bare but for a few lone hairs,
whip-like reeds on desert dunes.
Under pale, tender skin
blue rivers fork,
wriggle, worm-like
over the top tendon’s ridge, down
to the arch’s curve, flattened
by more than forty thousand miles
of pound and thud,
enough to go around the Earth
from bedroom to kitchen, front step, bus stop
and back again.  All bending
to the flanging bulb of heel,
browned, creviced, callused
by numberless pivots and turns.


Originally arched
like a raised eyebrow
you’ve been bowed, bent
to the level of your companion:
severely pronated, the doctors say.
The price of your conformity:
the tendons and muscles
wrapped,  stretched,
hunkered downward
with each thumping
step. Supine one,
you are the best foot
I should have put
forward.  Now
pain   flares up
from the heel’s
inflamed ligature,
a constant throbbing
awaiting scalpel and a


Brian Campbell is a poet, singer-songwriter, editor, translator, and teacher. His third full-length collection, Shimmer Report, has just been published (Ekstasis Editions, 2015). He is also the author of A Private Collection (Sky of Ink Press chapbook, 2014),Passenger Flight (Signature Editions, 2009), Guatemala and Other Poems (1994) and Undressing the Night (Editorial Lunes, Costa Rica, 2007), a translation of the selected poems of Francisco Santos.  ... about BrianCampbell   ... about Shimmer Report  

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