Hands in his pockets, shoulders slouched
to draw all that he is to himself, he leaves
no faults exposed, no sign that he has come
for any reason of his own to this gym,
this concrete-lined box decked out
in tinsel and lights that glow,
as if it too must live in mystery.
She hovers near the punch bowl,
her eyes darting between couples
twirling on the court-turned-dance floor,
her flat shoes keeping the music’s pulses
under a skirt the length they wore last year.
If he were a poet, he might write lines
about her violet eyes, the way her dark lashes
flutter behind her thick lenses,
a promise of the beauty she will grow into.
But she, not one to wither, strides
through the crowd, her limp locks bouncing,
her back straight, her head held high.
When she taps the football captain’s shoulder,
her smile transforms a dandelion to a sunflower,
their bold dance the stuff of jealous whispers as he
keeps his solemn place against the wall.
April 19, 2013
The Marriage Dance
When once we waltzed as one,
nothing went unsaid,
not praises plenty or sorrows,
the painful bursts of that
we should not utter, even what
we would take back,
all absolved, binding us
like the musical patterns we wove
in our living room carpet nights.
Now, the country between us
pitches and yaws like the cool breeze,
our constant companion, no middle ground,
only these miles of weeds and stickers,
our aloneness a wall we will not tackle.
This waltz by myself is not easy,
casting me in shadow, slicing the happy
of others to my heart’s core,
beating rapid rhythms around me,
as I lumber like one dancing in the dark.
Was it days blended into days,
sugared coffee and oatmeal and the sound
of the sprinkler splatting the back door,
that brought us to this black, soundless chasm?
Or was it forgetting to keep the music at our center
the One and Only keeper of the light?
April 10, 2013
A Two-Step Dream
He loved her when once she danced,
skittering loops and lines
across a grit-smoothed floor,
her long, blond hair glinting white
against the strobes of lighted halls,
her skirts, always red, twirling ’round
her well-formed calves in rhythms
his heart tapped beats to.
Her heart, solid and cold, except when music
filled her senses, matched his footsteps
only when the band played, her breath
a hot promise on his ear lobes, as close
as ever she came to love.
In the circle of a dance floor,
they twirled and tangoed,
bobbing and weaving the maze
of nothing or all, forever dangling
between them like the twinkle
of gems that seal promises
so many never keep.
Now, tapping heels to any song
wafting past his easy chair, he thinks
of her lips, the plump, red orbs
just touching his cheek stubble,
the two-step all he’d ever know
of a full, gentle world.
April 8, 2013