Pop music blares from storefronts, as I move
through them, the hungry boys in skinny jeans,
strutting with collars up, peacock hair, latest
smart phones flashing, the cute girls in dresses
and strappy sandals, flouncing the shopping street.
I am a tank of a woman, the big guns of my feet
clearing a path, a conquering Brϋnnhilde, and they
point and stare. Once I heard 她的脚都很大!
Her feet are very big! behind me, and I was
proud, and let them take my picture, knowing
I could crush anything if I wanted, if my heart
were not soft. Sometimes though, I cloak
myself with an air of steel, people blinking
in confusion at this big-busted blondeness,
the strange female mountain rolling through
their world, and it’s a kick, it’s like Godzilla
on the warpath, Gulliver among the Lilliputians.
Most times though, I want to be anonymous,
to fade into the crowd with these size 9s that
carry me through their old foot-binding culture.
Lauren Tivey currently lives in China, where she works as an English Literature teacher in the American program at a Chinese high school. She received a MFA in poetry from Vermont College of Fine Arts, and her work has appeared or is forthcoming in Lowestoft Chronicle, Split Lip, The Camel Saloon, Red Fez, and Deuce Coupe, among others, and her chapbook, The Breakdown Atlas & Other Poems, was released in 2011 by Big Table. You can find her at http://laurentivey.blogspot.com/.