Shoeman in Love

I fell in love
through a pair of beaded slippers.

She brought them to me
to have the heels repaired.

They were black satin,
the toes hung with jet beads,

and lined with pig-skin,
a leather that absorbs sweat.

Her voice was like pig-skin
fine and strong enough

to absorb me,
but it wasn’t that —

it was the taste
of the imprint of her heel

when I licked it,
holding her slipper

in front of my face
like a cup.

Anna Livesey was born in Wellington in 1979. She has a BA in English and a MA in Creative Writing from Victoria University. Awards include the MacMillan Brown Prize in 2000 and 2002, a Schaeffer Award taking her to the Iowa Writers’ Workshop in 2003, and the 2003 Bank of New Zealand Novice Writers Award.

Livesey comments: ‘ “Shoeman in Love” is from my first book, Good Luck (Victoria University Press, 2003), written while I was a student at the International Institute of Modern Letters (IIML) in 2002. There is a small shoe-repair shop on the route between my home in Mt Victoria and the IIML.’

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New Zealand Book Council writer file
Victoria University Press author page