First Position By Josh Aaron Siegel

First Position

you’ll never know what it took
to get these shoes
from the window in vienna.

the ones that glittered from the kerosene street lamps
when i crossed their path and
stole for the first time

from the baker on rennweg
who didn’t even notice, Mama when
two silver flats like bolshoi slippers sitting

in the corner of the display with a
tag higher than all the slips we had for food
were gone for good.

it’s silly but i used to
sit on the ledge of
the department store and imagine

rubbing the window with my rags
until the chemicals melted away the mirror between
them and me

even after we left Mama
i thought about those ballet shoes
on my feet in moments

when i didn’t want to draw
another line of blood

when you couldn’t stand
in the courtyard without leaning
on my shoulder

we never spoke of them
but let the streaks of light
hum in my mind until

vienna let me in again,
a tourist this time
and led me to the window with

flats like bolshoi slippers
still waiting in the window
for me to take them home

By Josh Aaron Siegel

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