Jennifer Martelli is the author of My Tarantella (Bordighera Press), selected as a 2019 “Must Read” by the Massachusetts Center for the Book and named as a finalist for the Housatonic Book Award. Her chapbook, After Bird, was the winner of the Grey Book Press open reading, 2016. Her work has appeared in Verse Daily, Iron Horse Review (winner, Photo Finish contest), On the Seawall, The Sycamore Review, and Poetry. Jennifer Martelli has twice received grants from the Massachusetts Cultural Council for her poetry. She is co-poetry editor for Mom Egg Review.
What I want is that 8-eye boot with Goodyear welt lines on the sole.
I want the Backhand black leather and the overgrown wild flower print,
and all that pink and green flora and fauna. These boots dig in, webbed
all over with Datura, Poppy, Japanese Anemone, Poison Ivy, Foxglove.
And then the things that feed and crawl and fly: moth, scorpion, black
widow, wasp. I’d switch out the factory laces with loden green: a corset
going up each foot to the ankle. I want the criss-cross to show. Sometimes,
I want to smoke again and feel that hot toxin sting the bony roof of my mouth.
But I made a vow to never again buy leather: I’d love not to harm
any living thing though I still eat fat shrimp all curled over as if pain,
the sunny yolk inside a warm brown egg. I’ll buy eggs just to paint them.
I’ll smoke bees out of a hive to make honey and wax to burn down all night.
I’ll call the meat of a cow flesh just to ruin your meal. Here is the truth of these boots:
I want you to think they’re pretty, get close to me, believe me when I say I’m good.