When She Danced


Michael March

Originally published in The Evergreen Review Issue 123 in June, 2010.

I held you
in silence
over the years
in the stillness
of day
I carried you
past my heart
And you were
of my ruin


You fled
your own voice 
You fled 
the roundness 
of time 
A leaf 
chides death 
The earth 
was light


You left 
white slippers 
a pause 
no more 
You left 
this night 
for the past


That night at the Green Frog 
Those three white buttons down 
your birthday suit 
Or when your tongue shivered 
in my liver


You were there 
only not 
You were gone 
only not 
Forgive us 
You were there


White wine was on your breath
Your eyes ran to Tasmania
Parrots, you laughed parrots
through the rue Rivoli
Pinballs - and cognac absorbs the sugar
That night your eyes returned
white wine, rice wine -
when I smiled at you alone


I kissed your temple
as the Law of Life
I held you
outside the Law
I waited
to be deceived
as Law unto itself
Our journeys were made
at night


Somewhere in Texas
you held a cigarette
White planks, shrubs,
and that thin veil of smoke
What pervades is past knowing
What remains is beyond reprieve


Who said pearls 
cast a shadow 
held fast 
against skin 
Who set 
us apart 
for ever 
our wish 
to remain


To part your lips 
with one parting 
Again your eyes 
as night fell 
Twenty years 
under heaven 
And the rain 
continues to fall


When she danced 
Pain was not weakness 
Light became my bride 
Dust the song of hours 
When she danced 
Just this time