Shoeshiner please, don’t shine my shoes

Shoeshiner please, don’t shine my shoes.
Don’t get on your knees and pull up your towel
Don’t reach for the polish that makes my shoes look like a map of the stars
For I am not a king to whose feet you are subject.

Oh please Shoeshiner, I beg you!
Do not shine my shoes.
Your hands are black from stains of my sole.
Your fingers wrinkled from all the rubbing.
Your forehead black from the polish as you clean the sweat from your brow.
All in service of whom?

I, whose eyes are tainted by the comfort of a home,
a bed in whose sheets I can hide from the demons
whose voices beckon me and intoxicate me to say and do the things that prick like nine inch nails penetrating the soles of your feet?
I, whose shoes are stained with soot from my thoughtless deeds?

Shoeshiner please, don’t shine my shoes.

Photo by Ban Yido (Unsplash)