At the School for Left Feet
my missteps gathered
into all the wrong rhythms,
the heels of my feet rolled
like mercury over waxed floors.
When I danced, windows bulged,
hallways expanded, rooms held their breath.
My legs buckled, knees shook
and clacked until I retreated
to the cool bench, felt the scorn
a gravedigger has for the waiting hole.
Speak to your feet, my partner said,
her voice crisp as tortilla chips.
But I could never rouse my toes,
worthless as scoops of spoiled grapefruit.
So began my history of failure
with women of spunk and rhythm.