May/June 2021 • Vol. XLIII No. 3 PoetryMay 3, 2021 |

Watching a Documentary about Imelda Marcos, I Think about the Bottoms of My Cousin’s Feet

scraped with a cheese grater at the nail salon, the calluses dirt hard, like the firm inner shell meat of a coconut, shavings piled on the floor. “These have never seen one of those before,” my cousin laughed with the nail technician, “these” being her feet, these feet that take her from Labangon to Carbon, these swollen pups that walk across the village in tsenilas to gossip with the neighbors, these slippers slapping over the bends in the unpaved ground, tree root and rock that would trip anyone, but not this cousin, whose feet chase after children in town, the wide-headed, big-bellied malditas malditos whom she gets paid to watch, wash, and feed. Will this meager pay afford her a pair of pumped-up kicks with pink shoelaces? If she saved it all, could she buy a set of Ferragamo calf-leather loafers? If she saved for years, decades, would it amount to the cost of Beltrami riding boots so she could trundle around the province on horseback delivering lanzones or man

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Marianne Chan is the author of All Heathens from Sarabande Books, which was the winner of the 2021 GLCA New Writers Award in Poetry. Her poems have appeared or are forthcoming in New England Review, Michigan Quarterly Review, Rumpus, West Branch, and elsewhere. She is currently pursuing a PhD in creative writing at the University of Cincinnati.

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