may i have this dance?

i never had my dance card stolen.

i never had a dance card.

cotillions, none.

balls, none.

 

my dad drops me off at junior prom

in our high school cafeteria in a

culpeper county cow pasture.

 

the theme’s an enchanted evening.

my corsage is a lone orchid.

 

years earlier, dad teaches me

the philadephia swing.

nervous, i miss a beat and

step on his foot.

impatient and pained,

he proclaims i can’t dance.

 

i will not dance for years.

 

my new husband, as we wait for old friends,

puts his hand out to me and asks shyly,

“may i have this dance?”

 

and, he twirls and dips me into eternity.

 

my corsage is happiness.

an angel, a demon, and confucious

an angel, a demon, and confucious perform a tchaikovsky ballet on a copper needle head,

as the llamas and camels jump through its azure eye.

they leap into each other to odette’s song.

never mindful, they swivel, sip ambrosia, and sundry speak.

“i am condemned, because i was created most beautiful, and i proclaimed i was the light,” the demon confesses.

“beauty is not in the face; beauty is a light in the heart,” confucious advises.

“i am condemned, because i was created with no heart,” the angel wails.

the two look down at their feet and jump through the needle,

leaving two half filled waterford pieces, two sets of sandy footprints,

and negative space to build and grow.