Sunday, January 6, 2008

Coney Island

Coney Island

I loved to watch you dance.
Arms and legs akimbo,
eyes closed,
a smile spread across your face.

Others on the dance floor had to move out of your way.
They gawked;
you never saw them,
or if you did you never let on.

Those fools only
made me stand taller,
and dance harder,
proud to be your partner.

I loved to listen to your laugh,
that unique blast
part hic-up,
part guffaw.

On a hot day late in August,
after too much wine the night before,
we rode the cyclone
again and again.

Later, amongst a few off-season stragglers,
in the coolness of the circus tent,
we sat on the bleachers,
holding hands.

We watched a sword-swallower
do her tricks
I whispered something obscene,
you laughed loud.

She looked and asked,
“Is that your real laugh?”
And I asked “Is that a real sword?” .
then we ran away laughing.

In the hot sun again,
we asked a sweet old lady to take our picture.
She focused your camera on us
and motioned for us to back up.

Farther, farther,
and farther still.
You, ever the New Yorker,
thought she was trying to steal your camera.

Lindsay Riggs Brown

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