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Feet have more bones
than any other part of the body.
They carry the mass of us,
souls on soles,
in our busyness, on our business.
We pass each other,
invisible in our worlds,
looking down at our feet.
Our shoes.

There are women,
Imelda wannabes,
obsessed with shoes.
They have shrines dedicated to them,
their closets stuffed with shoes,
on racks or in boxes or piled on the floor.
Shoes come branded,
we brand ourselves with shoes,
with status symbols
in style and color and logos.

Dorothy had ruby slippers;
Cinderella's were made of glass.
I saw Dorothy's slippers behind glass
in a museum of American history.

And I saw more shoes behind glass
at another museum of history,
shoes gray with age and dust and sorrow.
High heels, plain loafers, workman's boots,
children's soft leather shoes.
This is all the physical evidence of
the mass of the souls who shed them -
branded by hate,
herded into chambers -
the evidence their bones walked our world
is a pile of shoes
rising from the floor to knee height
in a space slightly larger
than my parents' walk-in closet.
The shoes of Shoah.