#152 Nike Cortez by David Maduli

last time i ever seen corey he had put on
weight and scars
and brass knuckles
still had those cortez though
zeus messenger’s winged slippers
skywalk slouched off the airplane glue
brown paper bag plumes

first period last row home ec palm opened
into a butterfly grasp
pulled me in notebooks coated
with public enemy lyrics
swept me to all the skate spots
those were the days of vision
streetwear and vans caballeros before
he traded them for black cortez

laces ivory like the enamel on his teeth
firework jokes made the whole class laugh
down to the jagged sole
conquistador sneakers norteño feet
sauntering inside our masks

i crosswalk away count each painted bar like years
an elephant tusk stripes the jet nylon and suede
corey kicks the fuck out the kid on the ground
the swoosh glows brighter than white sand

David S. Maduli is a writer, teacher, deejay, and father.  Son of Filipino immigrants, this San Francisco native spent his high school years in Alamogordo.  Winner of the 2011 Joy Harjo Poetry Prize, he is an alumnus of the VONA and Las Dos Brujas writing communities, and resides in Oakland


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