Invention and Necessity
You, the first time we danced the mambo,
you, in a new faux faded pale pink print, bought
for the occasion from a store the caters
to poor hip grad students like us, were
incandescent beyond any filiment
or tungsten that Edison could dream
of. What should we speak about the coming
and goings of delicate spins and steps.
The internal metronome of beats
shape loves movement. I learn more
about the proper execution of steps. Our hips,
back and forth through the darken room,
kept beat to the one, two, three four, one...
Others around us, more accomplished,
but not us, move with one eye toward
the audience. But I, I look at our feet,
at the moves recently learned, sweeping
hands meeting, of shoes lifting
form the centripetal forces that turned
us about and centered our pivot point.
Then cumbia played and we raced
at fast as heated hearts on a treadmill.
The water on the table for the serious
dancers. The pity we felt for the others
on the make. Suddenly, and for first time
even after a hundred an fifty-three
years of reading them, I understood the love
poems of Neruda. Seven years later
our son was born of that night.