October 25, 2008

Love Dance

The music is a haunting love song I mentioned on MacDougal Street. Suddenly I feel you here. I stand up utterly alone, tearful and glad, and wrap my arms gently and firmly around myself, and, quivering, feel embraced in a hug that you alone confer. I feel my beating heart. I feel you pressed to me. I smell your hair, feel a wisp of your quiet breath, sense your breasts, and know an unanswerable urgency, exiled unconsummated to a dream quartered somewhere in space-less Time. You sweep over and through me, weakening me in my strongest solitude. Somewhere far, somewhere near, diaphanous, nearly invisible, opaque and frosted like glass, but forged of tempered stainless steel and glowing hot in fire, you’re out there, and here with me. Dancing.

We dance slowly on a back porch beside a languid banana tree that will never bear. Your hips sway, your shoulders float, your head weaves in perfect time. My electric fingers softly trace your firm back. Your hands divinely clasp my sides. You lead. I never danced so well. I’m lost in the waves of your deep dark artist eyes. You gaze in my storm-tossed ocean blues. There’s nothing between us but air, nothing against us but time, and nothing I ever needed more. My heart fills with gratitude and loves these few fleeting moments, erupting with emotion. I never felt love like this, never knew it could be like this, and know I’ll never have or want more. I can never say again that I don’t care, would be a liar to pretend there’s no despair. I will wander the unregenerate earth a thousand years, if you will save your last dance for me. I can’t find expression for this! How can I dance, trembling, like a teenager? We’ve never kissed. It isn’t necessary. I can’t possess you. You already own me. You steered my ship. You hailed me from my stolid heart-broke drifting loneliness. You piloted me to port. You berthed me. You moored me. You saved me. I was sinking out there. You made me love. Thank you! Thank you! Thank you! The ship is safe! The cargo’s delivered! The hold is empty! The crew is paid! The stores are loaded! You pierced my heart and stayed. I didn’t think I could love. I didn’t love anybody. I know now I never felt it before. I can die now. Bury me in your heart.

We're dancing to the Poet’s love song:

"In the lonely night,
In the stardust of a pale blue light,
I think of you in black and white,
When we were made of dreams.
I walk along through the shaking streets,
Listening to my heart beat
In the record breaking heat,
When we were born in time.
Just when I thought you were gone,
You came back,
Just when I was ready to receive you.
You were smooth, you were rough,
You were more than enough.
Ah, babe, why did I ever, ever leave you?
Or grieve you?
I'm high on the rising curve,
Where the ways of nature will test every nerve,
I took you close and got what I deserve,
When we were born in time.
Just when I knew who to thank,
You were playing.
Just when the firelight was gleaming.
You were snow, you were rain,
You were striped, you were plain.
Oh, babe, can it be that you've been scheming?
Why was I dreaming?
In the hills of mystery,
In the foggy web of destiny,
You’re still so deep inside of me.
When we were born in time.”

I search for my own song to whisper to your ear. This is it. It's the best I can do. It will never be a record, it'll never sell, and it doesn’t rhyme. But there’s music. This is all I have on this sunny autumn afternoon in eerie Louisiana, where I never knew the old soft shoe, where I have returned like a prodigal son to rest, nest and expire. I looked for you everywhere. All my life I pined and primed for the test and failed every one. I fell for you in New Orleans long ago then ran you off. I slapped you around in Massachusetts, mistakenly thought I married you in New Jersey, laid with you too briefly in Highland Mills,, insulted you in Managua, shacked up with you in North Carolina, took you for granted, and drove you to Seattle and mistook you for lust, flying from the magnetism of love. I reconciled to never knowing you; never meeting you, and said you were only a four-letter word. I gave up on you and said I was unworthy. I never imagined you would find me here, or grace my life at all. You walked right up one raucous night with the best smile I ever saw and introduced yourself, and my fortified heart collapsed, defenseless from that instant.

Here, of all the unlikely places. Ha, ha! I never anticipated. I didn’t even know what I was looking for. But I never suspected you could consume me. I’m joyous dreaming in your artful flames. Dance with me again and burn me up. Then scatter my ashes wherever you are. Feel my love when you dance. Dance, with me in love forever.


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