Wednesday, March 20, 2013

Slow Dance

  More than putting another man on the moon,
  More than a New Year’s resolution of yogurt and yoga,
  we need the opportunity to dance
  with really exquisite strangers. A slow dance
  between the couch and dining room table, at the end
  of the party, while the person we love has gone
  to bring the car around
  because it’s begun to rain and would break their heart
  if any part of us got wet. A slow dance
  to bring the evening home. Two people
  rocking back and forth like a buoy. Nothing extravagant.
  A little music.  An empty bottle of whiskey.
  It’s a little like cheating. Your head resting
  on his shoulder, your breath moving up his neck.
  Your hands along her spine. Her hips
  unfolding like a cotton napkin
  and you begin to think about
  how all the stars in the sky are dead. The my body
  is talking to your body slow dance. The Unchained Melody,
  Stairway to Heaven, power-chord slow dance. All my life
  I’ve made mistakes. Small
  and cruel. I made my plans.
  I never arrived. I ate my food. I drank my wine.
  The slow dance doesn’t care. It’s all kindness like children
  before they turn three. Like being held in the arms
  of my brother. The slow dance of siblings.
  Two men in the middle of the room. When I dance with him,
  one of my great loves, he is absolutely human,
  and when he turns to dip me
  or I step on his foot because we are both leading,
  I know that one of us will die first and the other will suffer.
  The slow dance of what’s to come
  and the slow dance of insomnia
  pouring across the floor like bath water.
  When the woman I’m sleeping with
  stands naked in the bathroom,
  brushing her teeth, the slow dance of ritual is being spit
  into the sink. There is no one to save us
  because there is no need to be saved.
  I’ve hurt you. I’ve loved you. I’ve mowed
  the front yard. When the stranger wearing a sheer white dress
  covered in a million beads
  slinks toward me like an over-sexed chandelier suddenly come to life,
  I take her hand in mine. I spin her out
  and bring her in. This is the almond grove
  in the dark slow dance.
  It is what we should be doing right now. Scraping
  for joy. The haiku and honey. The orange and orangutan slow dance.

  Matthew Dickman
American Poetry Review, 2008.


  1. Well. Great follow up to Marina and Ulay. I'll print of a copy of that one and share it with my beloved. Some people just do it so well eh?

  2. Yes, I have just realised there is definitely a theme twisted through the last four posts. Maybe I should get out more ... go fishing or something.

  3. H'm'n yes the delightful slow dance..... it is what romantic dreams are made from :)

  4. Replies
    1. Hello there Barbara. I was just thinking of you while writing the next post!