The Longing of the Feet

At first the crawling
child makes his whole body
a foot.

One day, dazed
as if by memory,
he pulls himself up,

discovering, suddenly,
that the feet
are for carrying

hands. He is so
happy he cannot stop
taking the hands

from room to room,
learning the names
of everything he wants.

This lasts for many years
until the feet,
no longer fast enough,

lie forgotten, say,
in the office
under a desk. Above them

the rest of the body,
where the child
has come to live,

is sending its voice
hundreds of miles
through a machine.

Left to themselves
over and over,
the feet sleep,

one day
beyond the dead

conversation of the mind
and the hands.
Mute in their shoes,

your shoes
and mine,
they wait,

longing only to stand
the body
and take it

into its low,
mysterious flight
along the earth.

-Wesley McNair