If I had the chance, I’d ask the world to dance.
It was as if the higher the boot the higher up
the leg. I loved your zipper jeans, the gold-toothed smile,
the navel-to-tailbone confidence, your Billy Idol hips.
I loved your tough-stand at recess, the way you wore your flaws
like a space between the teeth holding a straw
and later a smoke. How you knew what fucking was
before you knew the word. Breathe you would say, breathe.
The sky can be so clear, like methane or something in an unmarked bottle.
The sky can be glassed with rain.
Fake the inhale. Sliding the 45 down
the back of your pants as your older sister curled up
on the bench seat of your parents’ Buick
the way she curled up around you
in front of the tv when the witch’s feet shrivelled
on The Wizard of Oz.
Inside a brown sky of exhaust, dreams of lifting.
Walking with a grade 5 patrol’s feeling of power.
The red “Bar Is Open” light and your back-combed hair
starched in a coffin. Make a wish,
you said, handing over the Dancing with Myself vinyl
and a gold-glitter star
eraser that I dulled on my binder, locker doors
to clear your name.