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Don’t take this the wrong way but maybe given everything, given what remains—how much, how many more— it wouldn’t kill you to consider dancing, just this once, alone in backyard secrecy while dawn arrays dishevelled underclothes. Then neighbors grab binoculars, behold slow pirouettes through sprinkler mist, jetés across damp grass and whisper Jesus Christ he’s lost it should we call, should we make sure he’s okay? Or should we join, awakened from malignant spell extend numb arms to touch forbidden hands and lips again, feet bare, legs flexible as boughs alive with muscle memory. And if authorities object so what, let commuters late for trains jump in as chanting children count and turn their rope beneath quick feet, let garden gnomes transform to dervishes and whirl reborn, and let the sleepless be absolved from vigilance, find diurnal rhythm in held breath exhaled and deeply drawn because this dance keeps time, immense but delicate, revolving atmospheres and stars as dew depends from amaryllis scapes until the sun, made ravenous, consumes each trembling globe— your legacy, for now.
Copyright 2022 George Witte
George Witte’s collections of poems include Does She Have a Name? (NYQ, 2014). He is editor-in-chief of St. Martin’s Press.