Lord Byron’s Boots

Andrew Hudgins

From their display case, John Murray VI removed
his obit said, Lord Byron’s boots from time to time, and smeared
hard black wax on dry two-hundred-year-old leather,
working it into cracks and gouges first burnished
with tallow and lampblack, a job I’d like. Come now, my man,
I want to see those elbows fly! If you think I’ll wear your work
to promenade the most admired and fashionable whores,
you may go to hell and fuck spiders.
And back to work I go
on my own boots, blacking scuffs, and buffing scrapes, gouges, cuts,
and time to an elegant but not excessive luster.

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