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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

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