“We have ways within each other that will never be said by anyone.” —Jelaluddin Rumi
I have worn my brother’s shoes
out so long in the night,
felt the pavement beneath,
air shuddering all around me.
I have lived in those moments,
briefly, knowing myself—
I hesitate to say completely.
Whether I have seen a flower bloom,
wither, and die, for one never knows
truly the face of God—this is
what it means to submit. It is difficult
to trust. This is serious.
What do I leave in the shoes,
as they stand in the space near the bed?
I cannot explain what it feels like to fly,
to one who is not yet overwhelmed
by clouds. It is not for me to say.
We each have steps we are destined
to tread upon. It is as if our footprints
have been placed upon the ground,
and we are only to feel the heat released
to our souls, and move on. We are to say
nothing of this. It is understood that we
do not share these experiences with another.
It is sometimes difficult to stare into a mirror.
The surface is hard and unmoving, pavement
I have tread upon daily. As I carry his shoes,
I too know what binds me to the earth.