Rumi practices ballroom dancing in her bedroom,
in front of a mirror that she trusts. She perfects
the foxtrot with a computer screen.
Off and on, a song slips from beneath her door.
These are the days of her shy guitar. She emerges
from her room, and declares, I am now 16!
The way the passing ambulance declares,
One more body for the night!
Sal is reading The Diary of Anne Frank now.
A moment ago, before he dozed off, with eyes half shut,
he whispered to me, Why did she want a boyfriend, Dad?
Didn’t she know she could love anybody?
I must remember this.
From Some of the Light by Tim Z. Hernandez. Copyright © 2023 by Tim Z. Hernandez. Reprinted with the permission of Beacon Press.