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Click the play button below to listen to Alison Luterman read
“Pink Suede Boots.”

Decades old now,
but the leather’s held up, and the curve
of the instep is still elegant.
I gave them away to my goddaughter, sixteen
and blossoming. She was thrilled.
They’re retro, they’re vintage, as I am now,
who once strode the city in my invincible body,
clack-clacking over Cambridge cobblestones
on those sassy kitten heels
like the Princess of Everything.
Resilient relics from another life,
they outlasted a cross-country move,
a starter marriage, and a few bouts of plantar fasciitis,
then languished in the abyss of my closet for years
until I decided, Let her have them,
this girl who is even now stretching toward love
in all its many-splendored disguises
like the limbs of the magnolia in April,
aglow with blushing petals.
And when I say they’re pink,
let me be clear: not hot pink, nor bubblegum,
but a dusty rose, color of desire
and rue, color of the secret
places inside a woman
who’s been around the block a few times
and knows she’s had her share, yet still
wants more: to be what I was always
destined to be
before this burning world
had its way with me.