Gritty Details

Monday, July 31, 2017

Tonight's Poet Corner: The Waltz

The Waltz
by Belinda Roddie

The tension is so thick in
this silver-bloated ballroom
that you'd have to cut it
with a blowtorch and serve it
seared on top to the nearest glutton
in attendance. And yet, here we

are: I take your hand, and you spin
your hips into my sides, leaving
divots in my skin. I can't remove
the offending dents, but I can
decorate them, cover them
with hood ornaments so that I

retain a little value once I'm
inevitably taken to the junkyard
and ground into a fine dust.
The men wear tuxedos that fit 
to their frames like a penguin's
feathers. The women have dipped
their arms up to their elbows

in tapestries woven from pure gold,
and so they can't lift their handkerchiefs
to their swollen mouths because their hands
are weighed down. You and I, in blue
and green, ought to be put on display
in a shop somewhere, to be driven off

the lot by voyeurs desperate to observe
just how we function together. How we
run. How we synchronize. How we rev
up each other's engines so well. Funny
how our bodies repel each other like
static electricity on alloy, but if it
gets hot enough, the pianist will

have to abandon the melting ebonies
and ivories, and like fiberglass,
we'll bend toward each other again,
locking lips and not even wincing
at the sight or sensation of the blisters
rising in a reddened infinity sign.

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