the man comes on horseback and muscle, glinting.
he brings the shoe, crystallized shoves me into it
and there’s blood in the shoe. I am the bride-to-be
—girl burnt at the tips, my house dress with cinders
broom wicker, wash rag and basin. much too dirty
and kept out of sight my hours always gowned, secret
always mopping circles in the cellar room the fire pit—my friend.
this shoe is too tight, not right blood gathers
in the shoe and the man swept me up the hot coals whimper
glass melted against me, a brightness.