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STAN GALLOWAY

Dance, Nora, Dance

 

Dance, Nora, dance! Life of the party

importing your coconut macaroons, permafrost

white, sweet morsel from far away, hidden in

wrappers – you carried back more than a husband.

 

Dance, Nora, dance! Norwegian dance (hardly!)

kicking demurely, toes trotting, half-gliding,

feet skipping steadily, hopping invisible

obstacles, blood pumping faster than people

expect. Italy’s fire is under

your arches, tambourine hammering, strokes

of piano, arms lifting gracefully, arcing

a prayer overhead – Dance, Nora, dance!

 

Bacchanalian energy centuries suppressed –

you’re forging new movements not even your husband

expected, profusion of steps, quick change

of direction to cover the lies of mad

indirection, the shrill lively tune spinning faster,

now circling – one fractured button, or letter,

will spill all your secrets. You feel all the danger

straining to spring. Can you cover it, Nora,

or bare buried snippets? Choose one but not both.

Dance, Nora, dance! Dance, Nora, dance!

 

Spider-bite ritual – you are the victim

now dancing alone, part courtship, part swordfight

in pantomime, hoping delirium cured

through the sweat of your motion: hypnotic pulsing

tarantella, spinning, whirling,

stamping to death while the spider bites you.

Dance, Nora, dance! Dance, Nora, dance!

 

 

 

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