The gym was dim.
Red and white balloons
glittered in the dusk
while flashing lights writhed
on the dark floor
like enchanted water-snakes
gliding through scented fog.
This was a celebration dance!
Eighth grade done at last,
they stepped, hesitant, into the roiling
teen-age sea,their synchronous, bobbing heads
attuned to the be-bop rhythms of the city (not their city),
and the lusty calls of the hood (not their hood).
Smooth gym walls echoed the dj’s mechanical angst
endless, relentless beats, the racing heart of the machine,
artificial sighs, nano-seconds long and gigabytes wide.
The boys, spinning on heads and leaping from hands and
flailing legs, showed an athleticism
never seen in PE,
while the girls huddled in their own dark corner
and planned their move;
their fashion walk,
legs strutting ahead
of swaying hips,
heels clicking the hard, dark floor,
as they stalked right up to the foul line
where boys were spinning and leaping
through throbbing lights
to the tribal, primal beat.
So the girls turned,
hips flung in defiance,
and sashayed back to the wall,
staring hard at the gaping boys
over their swaying shoulders.
(29 May 2009)