Endowed in perpetuity by the Glenna Luschei Fund for Excellence



By Rehema Nanfuka

They are a torture so pleasureable,

these cliché blood red, six inch heeled Jimmy choos.

Leather so soft, so warm, so alive;

she feels the pulse of the sacrificed calf.

The shoes; a California socialite's castoffs,

bought by a Kampala social outcast.

They flew across oceans and landed in a market downtown

where pieces of  people's pasts are sold.

Where before they were cushioned by red carpets,

now the sole is worn thin by rough murram roads.

They tread through mud and jump clogged drainages,

to reach that roadside uptown, where flesh is sold.

Men wearing cobra leathered Gucci oxfords

get the girls at a bargain.

Here she stands, back rod- straight

Six inches above all,

Hiding winces as her heart relocates to feet

squeezed tight in red hot leather.

That seems, seamed with the tiniest of needles,

intimately mapping every curve, dip and dent in her feet

Double pulsed swollen veins, trailing down her feet

like overfilled rivers seeking the sea

The flow of warmth to above cut off.

Hands of lovers find her uppers numb.

They dent their cobra skins,

And get down on their  knees

To suckle the warmth of lessons learned

from the feet of a woman thought beneath all.

They give her reason

to tolerate this torture so pleasureable.


Rehema Nanfuka

Rehema Nanfuka is a writer, producer, and actress. She submitted her first poem in the 2012 BN Poetry Award and emerged in fourth place, and she hasn't looked back since. Also a spoken word artist, in 2013 she won the Goethe Institut Africa - Spoken word competition in Kampala. 

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