Two Hundred and Eleven.


Izzy circle


I cleaned the toilet in my nicest white fancy dress
wearing the kind of expensive sheer stockings that tear when you look at them

I told my jobseeker person I wanted to be an artist,
she told me that maybe I could pick painting as an elective at university


Sarah circle


On our very first date, we strolled by the river in the dusky silk light
past a fat-faced accordionist, who winked as we passed
and I held out my arms to her awkwardly, like a nerd at the prom
she had blushed then, and whispered into the crook of my neck
that her feet never went where she put them, that dance was no friend to her
I laughed, and showed her my ungainly toes, and swept her up anyway
giddy and hooting and roaring with glee
Our off-tempo shamblings become our solemnest secret
performed in bus queues, at yard sales, on asphalt and snow
We danced our minutiae with unwieldy steps:
The ship that came in while we stood on the dock
and bathed us in foghorning spotlights like prey
The hour that her father and his cancer made peace
we swayed in the fluorescent hospital hum
The aching hot night, when the floor seemed to sweat
and we danced in the kitchen while the pizza piped smoke like a video clip
The morning she left, when our knees kept on knocking
and our elbows were bumping, and our jawbones grew grim



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