it’s 2003 and i’m on board

with the city arts council

we are invited to send

a delegation to korea

and i know i must go


spend the morning calm

walking alone in seoul

return in time for breakfast

when we move on to wonju

there, too, the dawn is where

i belong in the light unfurling


we will each have our own

experience of this journey


back home, in the board discussion, it will be said

we should partner with paris, not wonju

this little city in a little asian country

what does it have to offer? i already know

that the way it feels harmonic with

indigenous cultures here

will not be a selling point

is not news either party wants to hear


but a market of 48 million, i say

and what is more, paris

has not asked us to dance.


i walk away guilty

in a way that maybe only nerds

know, that i did not fight harder

for that other kid at the dance

in green corduroy pants.


then i remember how that kid

shuffled down the wall

so as not to be mistaken

for a friend of mine.

when we are grown

we will be free

to roll our eyes

at the teen queens and kings

dividing us from each other

from ourselves, we will stop waiting

for paris to ask us to dance.

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