This article is taken from Stand 231, 19(3) September - November 2021.

Sue Burge My Right Foot
when I’m four I name my right foot Billy

my right foot wants to be an extra in a David Lynch film

my right foot moans a kaleidoscope of blue and purple, all the tiny bones creaking into new patterns the day I slip the bit into the soft hot mouth of my horse and he treads my foot into a print deep as an elephant’s

but these are my better right foot stories:

1     in Iceland’s midnight daylight I find a snow-knife to scratch a scrimshawscape – my right foot is always the first over stepping stones, up the steep and stair of this strange geography. Did you know you can buy snowflake measurers? One day lava sharp as a spindle pierces through to my sole – my first, my only tattoo

2     my right foot has a burst blister between its toes, skin rubbed to nothing – nauseating freezer burn pain in the blazing streets of hip hop Berkeley. Maybe I’m hallucinating but I think of Scott, his blackened face, eyes squinting with snowblindness, his body eating itself in desperation, anorak tenting in the wind. I’m always angry with Scott. Why did you die? I ask him in my dreams, only 11 miles from salvation? I can see the subway a block away. Billy laughs, high, childish. I may be some time.
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