Still Life with Red Silk Shoes and Perfume




Broadside of Still Life with Red Silk Shoes by Landon Godfrey.

I spent my money on red silk shoes
and champagne, water
in pink-labeled bottles from France,
mustards and kippers from anywhere but home.
Every night I dreamt about being
unfaithful with my teachers or rabbis or actors
and would have slept with more people
had there been time.
I loved so much — so many objects
seemed alive, so many bodies
accompanied mine to restaurants and museums
to look at other bodies and things,
a bounty or adornment to adore.
I wanted to own all of it, from the king’s mink coat
to satiny heirloom roses decorating public gardens,
happy with the perfume crushed
on my fingertips.
Once I told someone I was lonely
so I could practice dying.
And in the moment those lips touched my cheek
I felt like the earth kissed by a homesick traveler —
splendid in my borrowed costume of dirt and air.