MY METHODIST GRANDMOTHER SAID



My Methodist
grandmother said
dancing
was adultery
set to music

how right she was

in that sweet sway
breast to breast and
leg to leg
sin comes into its own

if you have never
waltzed
you cannot imagine
the sheer voluptuousness
of it
the light touch
palm to palm
wool and silk
mixed below the waist
your partner's warm breath
on your neck
coming quicker
and quicker
the strength of the man
the yielding of the woman
so incorrect
so atavistic
so unspeakably sweet
he moves toward you
you back away
he pursues you
and with the faintest
pressure
you encourage him
and watch the blood
rush to his face

not a word is spoken
no one sees this
although it's done in public
in full sight of everyone

you touch
and retreat
meet
and touch again
in time to the music
saying yes
no yes
no yes
no
yes

you dance
without thinking of your body
in that gentle
rhythmic
careless
almost copulation
one two three
one
two three

the longest
foreplay
in the western
world




Mary Mackey
from Breaking the Fever: Poems. Marsh Hawk Press
Dancing is a perpendicular expression of a horizontal desire.
~ George Bernard Shaw
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