From across the aisle of stilettos
the transvestite winks at me as if to say
I too grew up in my mother’s closet,
and I can tell we’re in this together
when he hands me a size 9 and says
these last forever.
I’ve seen Forever.
It’s somewhere between a sloshing basin
and the chair where a Chinese girl sat
while her feet were bound.
We often forget it was her mother
who did it,
who wrapped her feet in silk
and cotton soaked in blood from the deep cuts
she made on her daughter’s feet
with the most well-intending and blasphemous of hands.
But that’s how it goes.
It begins at “rite” and ends in “pedicure.”
Jesus washes the disciples’ feet,
and Mary washes his.