Matthew Woodman

Still Life with Foot

(after the Rufino Tamayo painting Naturaleza muerta con pie, 1928)


Diabetes took the neighbor’s right

just below the knee

what did

the surgeon do with extent labeled

medical waste

how many miles

how many ascents

how many peaks

over the balcony

it’s just a foot


he still walks the earth a prosthetic

pedestal no toes true but he can draw

an inside straight

his dreams inflate

the bodega shear the ballast

the low

and level sands far await (as they do)

but not today but not tonight


I could draw a map be your antique

traveler but where’s the fun in that


let’s see where the wind takes us


mean him

I mean us watching

a wall a window a page


Matthew Woodman teaches writing at California State University, Bakersfield and is an editor for Rabid Oak. More of his writing can be found at