I hate the way my feet look,
tiny, rectangular, ugly boxes for nails
on skinny toes,
and prominent, aggressive, bluish-green veins.
Big, wide and bony.
My mother used to say only “idiots” have large feet
because they always have their foot in their mouth
I hate the way I cannot love my feet
when I should be able to,
after all that they’ve done for me.
They look exactly like my father’s —
only his are more rugged from being stuck
with shoes which never seem to fit.
Always too tight, too big, too brown,
My mother says, daughters and women
(like daughters aren’t women)
don’t touch others’ feet “where we come from”,
so I see my feet touched by his instead
(unlike my nose, freckled generously by my mother), and so
the way my feet are touched by the man
when I should not hate it, and
I hate the way I cannot love the man in my feet,
when I should be able to, and
I hate the way I can’t love.
Shreya Sharma is a third-year student of English Literature at Gargi College, University of Delhi, who either never opens up or will overshare.