-Scientists say that conversation is a dance. Body movements of the listener, such as eye blinks and hand gestures, are synchronized with the speaker's speech rhythms and/or body movements. But this hasn't been found to be true of children with autism.
In a tea shop you'd twirl the cups.
In a shoe store you'd stack the boxes high.
A pawn shop would make you sing; you'd
line up crystal and tap to make it ping,
and run away when it all goes falling,
and hide your face when it all goes falling.
I try to catch your eyes; you look at air.
Scientists map the dance of words,
speak, follow, bodies move in space and rhyme,
but you don't dance. You can't.
Lisa, I speak your name, you look at air.
How may I find you, let you rest,
sailor home from the sea.
The cups spin out. The boxes crash
and crystal breaks. Your mouth opens
but no sound comes.
How can I find, a rhythm larger
or smaller, lullaby, a dance for you,
Wynken, Blynken, and Nod,
that old soft shoe,
me who cannot dance, who has no rhythm,
no style, all awkward stumbling limbs.
No choice then, but to step the dance
that is no dance and sing the song that
is no song, and lift you high upon my shoulders.
For, I can't dance, but how can I not dance,
Lisa, for you.
You move as I move; my hands hold your legs,
your arms cradle my head, till I forget
legs, arms, foot, knee, elbow, and all else but
you and me and the dance. And just
then you laugh gentle as sea foam.
You bend your head down to see.
Your smile is upside down, your eyes are upside down.
your upside down eyes, green as the sea, your
eyes look straight into my eyes.
Solla Carrock has spent most of her adult life in Portland, OR, where she attended Reed College. Her writing has appeared in Portland Review, Bartleby Snopes, Ascent Aspirations, 34th Parallel and many other fine places.