« Jake Levine | Contents | Stella Corso »

Julie Babcock

Shuffle, Hop, Step



Like tripping

into a jump and then

steadying again.

tap, tap.  Break.  Tap.

That basic YMCA step

I practiced as a girl

sticky from quarter machine candy.


I still do it

because I don’t want to fall

and break and x-ray

in that heavy bib of lead

for rectangles of light and transparencies.


My feet keep moving.

Cincinnati with beer and boys

Chicago book blind

Shipwrecked in Michigan.

tap, tap. Break. Tappin’.


I keep watching Debbie Reynolds

in baby blue heels

trying to hang with Gene Kelly.

“Good morning, good morning”

she sings as she jumps on and off tables

up and down flights of stairs,

somersaults off one couch

onto another. Never trained to dance,

she just shows up with grit.

I keep watching her stick the landings

those bloody feet

clicking good morning and catching.

« Jake Levine | Contents | Stella Corso »