by Susan Gao
I want white Converse sneakers.
I want red and black rims
and obnoxious logos attached to their tongues.
I want the ones that turn gray after a short walk.
The ones that pretty preppy girls wear when they stride
through hallways, thick rubber soles screeching
against the glazed floor.
I want to see my mother’s furrowed eyebrows,
tightly pressed lips and analytical eyes.
I want her to wonder who I have become.
I want to beg her to buy me these sacred shoes
with my bony knees pressed against cement floor
and my glossy overflowing eyes.
I want to hand my dignity over to her like cash.
I want my chubby feet
to suffocate within their narrow shapes.
I want dried up blisters to peel off my heels
and fester beneath layers of band-aids.
I want to never take them off.
I want these shoes to turn my feet purple and swollen
until blood seeps through the white canvas.
I want to flaunt my white converse sneakers
as I walk side by side with these girls.
I want these shoes to demand them
to respect me,
to love me, to worship me,
to bend down
and kiss my feet.