She stands in the center of the floor,
eyes liquid with anticipation,
a twitch of confidence in the left corner
of her luscious lips, spirals of dark
hair skim her shoulders, black slender
dress with a layer of red at her chest.
The music begins. Black shirt,
red tie, he walks toward her with a gift
of his desire.
They dance. They intermingle
limbs and balance. He lifts her high.
They kneel, caress. They sweep, swish, graze.
They grab my heart and carry it away.
This is how life should be.
A rush of applause. They bow.
Afterwards they take off
their costumes and their skills.
He returns to worship masculinity
with his buddies, maybe over a beer,
or plans to go duck hunting, or
rabbits, or at the very least
a rattlesnake or two. Or maybe
he’ll just lie under his vintage car
She returns to quiet
regret, listens to her three-year-old
boy mumble in his sleep, touches
his silken hair, dreams
of a world where a dance is
not only a dance.
Neighbor Harriet’s car is in the shop.
It is winter. He sets the alarm
for 5:00 a.m. to give her a ride to work.
His lover tells him she wants to watch the sun
rise on her birthday in her long red dress,
though it is winter and cold.
He says, “Have a good time.”
A friend of a friend invites herself
to spend the night. She also wants to see
a play he is not interested in. But he agrees
to go. Then she suggests a pricey restaurant.
His lover wants to go dancing.
He patiently explains for the umpteenth time
it’s just not his thing.
Five guys and two dogs are piled
in his truck, headed for the wilderness.
The air shimmers with morning
His lover waves from the end of the driveway.
She has taken off the month to be with him.
(Author photo by Michael Schulte)