The Dance Began

AuthorPei Ja Anderson

DateSpring 2019

My feet, I’ve recently discovered —

or told, are ugly by standards. Parched.

Dirt under the nail I have scraped out a thousand times lingering

the same old-leather shade as the creases when I wrinkle.

Dollhouse knuckle-bone black.

The bulk of them as wide as they are long, each nail oblong

and homely like the next. Daylight points out dryness,

an angel dust of skin cells.

The big toe jutting out as if she decided

the others were bad neighbors creating

this triangle dilemma where I

see the flat part between — pink;

the only part of my body that is this shade — pink.

But, my second toe is worthy. The longest,

who peeks above the row of pads, most unuseful, but

a sturdy circumference of chamomile feel.

These feet remember curling in the womb,

cotton baby socks, and backyard sod.

I cut my toenails every day since

the woman I love pointed out how ugly they are.

But, for our disagreements and unloved textures, I can’t stop

wriggling them in my front yard, writing about them.