Wednesday, July 12, 2006

Wednesday July 12 - 3:35Am - Phoenix AZ

(for Allie and Maureen)

Later that night three girls seated
in a row would all say no
to Yuri because he was sweating too much

and later that night i would dance
with Hanz Barbour's sister who was attractive
enough but we danced the slow song
too fast and it meant that i was soft
and couldn't make her grind
her fifteen year old hips against
my thirteen year old ones on the dance floor
and my friends our friends laughed
at me not at us at me

and later that night my mother
would pull up around 2 and blow her horn
outside the party (she and her best friend
Aunty Annette giggling because earlier
they'd dropped me off to my first party
that i was allowed to go to in which
adults weren't involved) and i thought
i was tough and smooth and they giggled
because my friends nodded at me approvingly
because my mother waited until after midnight
to pick me up so my brand new Sergio Valentes
Adidas with the fat laces that Aunty Valerie sent
for me from America were not a waste
and i'd go into the car later that night
and they'd ask me who i danced with
and i must have blushed because my mother
and Aunty Annette cracked up laughing
and had to stop the car in the middle of the street
and there were tears in my mother's eyes
she was laughing so hard and i couldn't
understand why but that was later
that night

after i had acted cool
at most of the right times and danced
well enough and my threads were new
and from America and i had picked
the right moment to ask Lisa Griffith
to dance and had said like my mother
had taught me May i have this dance this was
earlier that night before Hanz's sister
Lisa had smiled and the smile lit
her up and her skin was shiny black
and smooth as marble and her eyelashes
were visible across the living room
in the dark of the of the adolescent moon
and she went to St. Joseph's convent
and most of those girls liked boys from St. Mary's
and not those hooligan QRC boys like me
but she smiled and it lit me up and she said yes
Lisa with the baby powder blue dress
with the puffy sleeves Lisa with the perfect
jheri curl Lisa let me hold her against the wall
and grind slow and soulful while Christopher Cross
wailed something about the moon and New York City

That was earlier in the night that year
but after the fight with Lyndon where i got
my ass beat but broke his tooth with
the hardest punch i'd thrown to that point
and the boys gave me dap and said i was a man
earlier that night Lisa said yes and i kissed her
during the dance more out of obligation
than any real physical intent and the girls said yes
almost because the boys had it was early
in the night that year before my grades plummeted
and Hanz's sister swung me round and the girls
told Yuri no and my mother swung by as always
well-timed to carry me laughing
back home


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