I never could high-kick

words were my tap-shoes

but I know these dancers:


ecstatic routine masking terrors

of keeping on spot in the line,

self on the line; raw yearning,

stripped, on the line 


those who hurt most

departing stage left

in the husk of a grueling day


the one on the floor

silently screaming

felled by a faithless knee


Where do they go 

what cold meal in a cold flat

their destination



the price of dreaming


the awful question


When I can’t dance

hanging like gallows from the flies.

Version first published in The Raven's Perch, 18 Feb. 2021