Your Life in Dances
One day you will not recall the Tango.
The quick trail of the Foxtrot will have gone
cold—stepped out for good with the Twist,
the Hustle, and the Boogaloo.
Then, from your seat by the window,
your life in dances may seem nothing more
than the repetition of a single question
asked and answered in a score
of forgotten languages, in some gilded
ballroom or louche lounge, or in the open air
under swaying branches. On that day,
you may think the sun, warming your face
through the glass, an agreeable festoon,
or the mirrored orb that shone down
on the party like a god’s eye, witness
to each tenuous first step, each turn
and counter turn, and the little slide
that left you somewhere else—
alone at the punch bowl, or smiling
into the face of a stranger—as the beat,
slow and sure, or wild as a faltering pulse
went on and on, alive and voiced
as the brown-suited crooner on the window
sill, at whose invitation the soul
rises, now, from the stiff chair of the body
and steps once more and light as breath
toward the whirling center, all
strange light and startling music.
-- from Now, Now, Copyright © 2013. Used with permission of the University of Pittsburgh Press.