Kafka, how I adored you
standing on the shore, naked to the moonlight
(or was it in the daytime, fully clothed against
the January winds that blew?).
How I loved you, but not
your mind, not that febrile
imagination that would chime
at odd hours when awake --
No. Never that.
It was your feet. Long, thin
with two large bunions, asymmetrical
in their design, opposed, one on
the inside of your left big toe
and one below that nubby, curled
and crumpled digit that graced
the outside of your right.
Those hard, white and red, rough surfaces
gave me delight, my hand
swarming over first one, and then
another, sllding up from the arch
or down, across those yellowed nails
you cut too close
-- so close I saw the scabs
you left behind, dark, blackish lumps
of your dead blood.
So short a time we had, so quickly
I heard you'd died, I cried
all night. I walked along the pier
barefoot, and caught a myriad
of slivers in each foot. How cruel!
The pain I felt, it still
endures, for those slivers are
my memento mori, far more
than any pleasant memory
of the sweaty, unwashed soles
I used to hold, with sand between the toes,
of Kafka on the shore.