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Art Poetry

Foot Race

“This is my reply for all of us:”

By Ryan McMasters

My friends are entering the doors of potential relationships and I’m entertaining it for the first time, myself.

They both described their feelings with the same phrase: “I feel like I’m waiting for the other shoe to drop.”

This is my reply
for all of us:

What if there were no shoes in the equation? What if our attraction was barefoot?
What if we felt everything
while walking &
it was all worth it?

What if we are all scared, and our fear is in a foot race with bravery & bravery wins by a hair? A leg? A mile?

What if we believed in our own happiness as much as we believe in our friends’?

What if our trauma wasn’t a plot device?
What if our doubt had a blood clot, clutched its chest & aneurismed on the carpet?

What if we coped by something other than changing the style of our hair?

This time,
Sarcasm takes a vacation from our lips.
This go-round,
we believe in our success,
We take inventory of our lives, and see nothing coming up short.
We keep our mouths closed & we devastate in quiet.
We hold our bodies like a housewarming instead of a white elephant.
We stop asking if they’re sure they like us & accept it before they change their minds.

This time, our over-analytic minds are fired. We make them homeless & they use their pink slips for blankets. What good has the brain stem bloomed except anxiety? What has preparing for winter in Texas done when snow hardly ever happens? What good is volcano insurance in The Arctic?

Our life doesn’t have to be a horror movie just to get good ratings. Our individuality doesn’t have to be sacrificed for happiness. Ignorance isn’t the only place where bliss is housed. We are worthy of good things. We are better than the worst things we’ve called ourselves.

We deserve the happiness we have been hesitant to accept all these years. Hearts are more than red glass waiting to be broken. What if we are more whole now than we have ever been & that’s what made us worth loving?
What if
They didn’t see us as charity cases?
Or works in progress?
What if we were enjoyed by other people & there is no turn, plot twist, evil resurrection?

What if our contentment wasn’t plagued with irony?
What if
we woke up next to a body not yet ours, and we looked out the window, the sunlight kissing our bare feet, and off into the distance, there was endless blue & wisps of breeze?

Wouldn’t that be breathtaking?

Could you even imagine?


Ryan McMasters is an internationally published poet out of Pasadena, Texas. He has work published on The City of Houston’s website, Ireland’s HCE Review, Peculiar Journal, Shiela-Na-Gig journal, Moon Tide Press, Allegory Ridge, San Antonio Review, and forthcoming work from Show Bear Family Circus.

Photo by Oziel Gómez on Unsplash