A CHORUS LINE


                   

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

 

disappointment

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