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Poetry By
  Lloyd Aquino

Published on: 28-Jan

When I was young, my feet would move
in the shape of less than, not equal to.
My parents told me to look down, and so
I did. Do. Eye contacting sneakers down
crowded hallways.

      When I was young,
my mother says I could have been a ballet
dancer, that I loved balancing on my toes.
But I don't dance unless I'm alone.
I am always alone.

      When I was young,
I needed Velcro straps to keep my shoes
from escaping. Bunny earing eluded me.
Eludes me. To this day, I straitjacket
laces for the bouncing.

      When I was young,
I could put my toes in my mouth. I can't

      When I was young, no one
wore shoes in the house, and we barefooted
the July cement and hot lava rocks just to
get the mail, run down the ice cream truck,
just because. Splashing in the garden hose
damp St. Augustine grass, we footprinted
the path to the front door, climbed the rubber
tree before it was uprooted. We kickballed
and freeze-tagged. All these feats of strength
and skill and speed done while the afternoon
held back second guesses and headlights,
sleeping draughts mixing chocolate milk
and honey of generation to help us forget
what amazement we accomplished, to let us

try it all again for the first time when
we stretched ourselves into standing.

Published on: 1/25/2013
Solitary Dance

When he's not looking away,
she starts in fits and starts,

hip and thigh and knee
and shin and ankle and toe

arching accusations at alchemy
just out of reach. Fingerlings

clinking like wind chimes
in a little storm, she's dodging

raindrops that aren't falling.
Then she's in the eye of it,

never so much as moving
one hair out of place, not

until it's time to break
statuesque to the illusion

of involuntary movements
without mirrors or magic

words, no blindfolds needed
to be blinded, she is going

everywhere to get to nowhere,
and she's smiling, or not,

and she's smiling, or not,
and she's smiling, or not.

There is something
about a solitary dance

that looks like longing.

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