The Conversion of 1967 // Steve Coyne
When my sole came loose
on a street in New York
and began slapping the sidewalk
like Bozo, Clarabelle, Chaplin,
my flat-topped friends stood off.
We had ditched school,
piled into the Chevy,
and driven across Jersey
to NYC for the day.
But now they were gone,
drifting up the sidewalk
while I fished in trash cans
along the curb until I caught
shiny wire from a dead bouquet
and wound it around to bind
my sad sole. I tried to catch
my friends again, but I was
a boy limping along like a bum,
and I lost them in the press
of St. Mark’s Place, where I hobbled,
weird in my wired shoe,
and no one asked me for change,
and no prostitutes wanted a date.
It was if I had dropped through
some grate in the world.
That’s when a long-hair
sitting on the sidewalk
gave me the victory sign.
“Hey silver-shoe,” he cooed,
“that is completely cool.”
Stephen Coyne taught American literature and creative writing at Morningside College for thirty years. He is past faculty adviser for Kiosk and proud to be included in its pages.
I’m Devyn Reilly from Fountain, Colorado. I’m a freshman majoring in Graphic Design and minoring in Business Administration. I have always loved art because for me it is the best way to express myself.