The Man With the Squeaky Shoe

by Robert Evory

like stepping on a dormouse –
brown leather dried and cracked like eczema;
years of stretch and pivot: dirt,
salt, and rain. Downstairs, neighbors
hear him return home, walk to the kitchen,
unshoulder his bags in haste after a long train ride,
followed by the long cry of a thirsty
kitten saying please, please
as he hurries to the bathroom
to relieve himself.
In the city the sound of his left shoe is nothing,
is a universe inside a universe inside
a single-celled cell of the body. Maybe
he is a jolly red Buddha
from a Chinatown shop
kids buy while on vacation to remember
a city they are too young to treasure;
maybe he is one of those gold crosses,
the symbol of some silent moral,
around all the tanned Italian necks and those
New Jersey bust lines; or, that extra
hole on a recorder wondering what note
he is used for; he could be one of those knock off
Rolex watches that will lose its tick; or, a Yankees cap
waved to flag a friend; or, he is one of those
boyhood dreams aching alone in the dark; he is
not even close to the heart of sleeping humming-
bird, slow as an old woman in winter;
he may be one man walking out
a map that no one else shares.


Robert Evory is a Doctoral Assistant at Western Michigan University where he is a reader for Third Coast and New Issues Press. He has an MFA from Syracuse University where he was the Poetry Editor for Salt Hill. Currently, he is the co-founder and managing editor for The Poet’s Billow. His poetry is featured or is forthcoming in: Spillway, Spoon River Review, The Baltimore Review, Natural Bridge, The Fat City Review, Nashville Review, Wisconsin Review, Ghost Town, Arroyo, Water~Stone Review, and elsewhere.

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