I step onto the balcony, focusing
on nothing but the shadowy night
sky, empty of stars I remember
gazing from the same spot with child’s
eyes, my father’s warm, strong hand
on my shoulder. We’d sing, and I’d laugh
as we did, so unlike the petty laughter
of the guests inside, who focus
only on the “clink” of glass and touch of hands
on waists. They turn to tonight’s
Cole Porter, purposefully ignoring me, a child
in their eyes. They don’t want to remember
I am all grown-up. But one remembers.
The dashing, reckless eyes sparkle and laugh,
as he walks towards me, with his childlike
grin. I blush and try to focus
on the cold of the outside, instead of the knight
come to rescue me from the hand
of another dreary party. He holds his hand
out to me, beckoning, and I remember.
Both five, innocent of the night
and the dark, full of that perfect laughter
and bliss. We were each other’s only focus
and friend. Both different and just children.
In that moment, on the balcony, I am a child
again, wanting nothing more than his hand
in mine. My eyes travel over his face, focusing
on that bold grin, the feature I remember
most about him. He notices me staring and laughs,
“Come on.” I follow him out of the night.
The victrola hums a soft jazz, unlike the nightly
Charleston of these parties. The harsh, childish
brass is replaced with the gentle laughter
of the piano as our hands
touch, his other palm warm on my back. I don’t remember
how to dance like this, so I focus
on his feet, focus on this night
I will remember forever and with childs’
hearts and clasped hands, we dance and laugh.