Paper dance

sensing only the same tempo, melting
and reshaping itself

is how the dancers ended up
searching for silhouettes through the floorboards,

waging war against the constant choreography,
leaving the watchers waiting and the music

flailing, trying to meet
the riff, riff, riff

as legs speak in tongues
so that each adjustment and rise

becomes an offer and a pose
grappling with a set of parentheses

dangling like the open sesame
chanted to cleave the shade

and send the lamplight scurrying
into the twilight’s daze

though the show goes on regardless,
scenery rippling, wavering, dancing.


honesty is overrated,

life’s pronoun for lies
delayed or better claimed
than the eye can wrestle with

or name for their subtle, spinning dervish dance,
steady as the candle’s flailing ember game
against a snapshot of chewed fairground floss,

or creaking piano stool and the song
of you, this and each step’s saccading rush
between ligaments of cotton and silk

seems breathless and hesitant all at once,
a frictious con of skin, sound and disclosure.
It’s all in the release, the sweet suggestion

of no more attempt at throated deflection,
while shadows still enclothe the pages
as the light retreats, only jagged grazes

admit in trying to scrawl it out,
transcribe new soul to memory
what lingers here, nor you, nor me

our verbatim dance of honesty.