Take Off Your Shoes

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We met, blind-folded
by sun-glaze, on a ball
field in Columbus, Ohio.

You, too short-sighted to
see I was willing to go
barefoot in a crowded
stadium, drink beer while
squatting on a crumpled box,
for you.

I was too carefree to notice
you searched endlessly for
shoes, up and down, back
and forth, aisles in a swaying
sea of Clippers fans, for my
naked heart.

I panicked when my shoe broke.
Our first date. Your slender
fingers reaching inside my
lustful mind. Proving
I was a tough girl for all
your butch friends, and you,
I tossed the pair of sandals
into the closest trash bin,
looked over at your wide-eyed
shock, and smiled my best
I don’t give a damn
smile. All I need is you.

Put me on your back again.
Carry me to the car with that
same youthful, gluttonous
grin. Tell me I am beautiful,
again and again. Take me
back to the ball field. Baby,
take off your shoes.

N and A

Andrea Collins, “Tough Girl”