High heels were hard to come by. Yusef’s mother didn’t own any pumps except for a few low heeled sandals, too practical, with those square heels and ugly buckles, more suited to desert climes than the urban streets of New York. For his birthday he bought himself a gift from a thrift store in the basement of St. Anne Parish Church, barely worn, black patent three-inch spikes with straps that wrapped around the ankle. The excitement washing over him was thrilling and he could barely get through the front door before slipping them on his feet. His reflection bounced off the shiny black toes, that triangle of seduction he formed by wrapping his genitals with the elastic bandage his mother used for her wrist when she sprained it trying to inject a pig with a serum. Swine that I am, he thought, as he imagined her catching him and in a blind rage, ripping the sacred lingerie from his body.