In this touching, relatable poem, Jessica Server offers some sympathy to those boys whose “deep phobia of dancing” keeps them from getting close to the women they pine after.
Learning to Foxtrot
The boy’s deep phobia of dancing kept him
without a single friend. For twenty-one years
he stayed quiet in the dark bloom of his own
company. Back then, to dance was to live. It was
the 30s; it mattered only whether you swept in
and took a girl to the floor, whether you could
keep rhythm with the tune. But the boy,
his phobia of dancing, it kept him without
a single friend. From the silence of his room,
in the art of fluid weaving, like yarn on a loom.
He could hear his powerful voice call her to his arms.
He could taste the lilies she’d someday leave
on a kitchen table. So he stood in front of the mirror.
Shuffled his feet until they blistered.
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Photo by Arthur Murray Dance of Montclair/Flickr