Tuesday, June 15, 2010
Slow Dance by Matthew Dickman
By Matthew Dickman
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 dinning 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, to knock it out of the park. 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 four. 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 shear white dress
covered in a million beads
comes 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.
I love this guy's poetry. I own this book and each and every poem is amazing. And guess what? His brother, Michael, is a poet also! I have his book, "The End of the West" and it's also a fabulous book of poems. Imagine being able to share poetry-love with your brother? It must be like magic....
It's sweltering-hot & clammy-humid here in the deep South. I know, I know, I should be used to it and expect it, right? It's like childbirth. You forget the pain after the birth when they hand you that precious baby. Every year, I forget the heat-pain until it hits. The heat slaps you in the face and sucks the air from your lungs the minute you step out the door. (Multiply the heat-pain times a hundred if you're anywhere near menopause....) And to top it off, we're having a drought here in my part of Louisiana. (But oh, I have some luscious, lovely, luminous tomatoes on the vines!!!)
On that note, I'm out of here. Stay cool and take time to smell the flowers and the tomato leaves....and if you get the chance....slow dance.
"What is one to say about June,
the time of perfect young summer,
the fulfillment of the promise of the earlier months,
and with as yet no sign to remind one that its
fresh young beauty will ever fade." ~Gertrude Jekyll