• Vol. 03
  • Chapter 10
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Dance, Then, Wherever You May Be

I wanted you to rub the suntan lotion between my shoulder blades.
You know, the part of me I can’t reach.
But you can with your keyboard hands
Your hands that crafted a sonata for my flute and your piano.

This would be our andante, our allegro, with tacit parts
Whole measures where our fingers would be paralytically still
Hovering over the gasping holes of my Gehmeinhardt,
The ivory silent just beneath your fingertips.

Earlier that day we had composed our own suntan oil
A bottle of Johnson’s baby oil and eleven drops of iodine.
I dyed my skin and you ran your thumb across my lines,
Without a passport, mapping my body.

Later, we huddled in the perch of that Silver Maple treehouse
And you put those headphones on my ears
Clumsy earmuff contraptions
Telling me your father had done this for you

Giving you the world outside Casey Kasum and the Top 40.
Deepmud Mississippi Delta jazz
Dixieland bands saint-singing the dead to the cemetery,
The Julida polka squeeze boxed out of an asthmatic accordion.

And today you give me Aaron Copeland’s Appalachian Spring
Tis a gift to be simple, Tis a gift to be free
And we found ourselves in a place just right,
a valley of delight, unashamed

With your hand tapping rhythms between my shoulder blades,
Crossing all boundaries.