Fetishist’s Photo Album

He woke her up by tickling her feet. 
         She was just over four feet tall, then. 
The lino sucked what warmth there was from her feet. 
         He said, ‘I only dance when my feet are on fire.’ 
He had ears like feet. 
With one foot in each boat, arms at half-mast, she balanced: 
worlds ready to crumble at her feet. 
         Here he is hosing the dust from her feet. 
She always said, ‘I used to complain that I had no shoes, until I met a man 
who had no feet.’ 
         Ah, the man with no feet! He follows us everywhere, rock-horsing his way 
behind us, waving a stick now and then. 
Everything looks peaceful from 1,363 feet. 
         The bones of the dead lie everywhere around and underneath 
         the feet of the living; or, 
a kid against the fence, scuffed shoes, probably a trumpet case 
at his feet. 
                  Flat feet. 
He slipped the bandages from her feet so they could dance. 
Sweaty feet, sure feet, itchy feet – 
Chinatown, Melbourne: jellied pigs’ feet at the Five Feet Restaurant. 
Chicken feet soup: watery grey, one claw. 
They saw Nightmare at 20,000 Feet. 
He told her, ‘I’ve got two left feet.’ And he did: he circled her like a gull! 
The puddles at their feet made them stand on themselves, as if on stilts. 
Now look at her feet in those mangoes! 
The pitter patter of tiny feet. 
He said, ‘Bare feet can be as sexy as bare breasts.’ 
He said, ‘I’d rather die on my feet than live on my knees.’ 
He said, ‘I met the man who had no feet, too, but I’m still 
angry I’ve only got one pair of shoes.’ 
He had feet of clay. 
She stood on them; and they danced. 
Up close, he saw her crow’s feet. 
She imagined her feet growing dark with his blood. 
A million feet walk across this bridge everyday. 
Yesterday, she put both feet on the pedals. 

Listen to Ashleigh Young read ‘Fetishist’s Photo Album


Ashleigh Young is a Wellington-based writer and editor and still a sometime poet. She owns a fair few pairs of shoes. Her essays appear in Booknotes and her poems occasionally in Sport.