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.