The next first dance

We were standing as we would at a wedding dance, limbs akimbo.


We sit hunched, inches apart, minds flying in opposite directions. He reels me in with the touch of a hand, the electricity of him + me. We sit in the china blue twilight as the frog song goes from song of the forest, wafting, to near cacophony like the blower from the next farm down running straight through the night, all the while you wondering, huddled. Messy.


The dog slumps and huffs into her place behind us. She plops down like a worn-out sack of flour, and snuffs at us. I stiffen and enter the gridlock, I am stealthy and disassociated and I nod "yes", shake head "no", insert a "good job sweetheart" as the children speak like rushing water one tumbling over the next to describe thier t-ball game. It is hard to untangle at the end of the day. Behind them is a projection screen with an 8mm recording of my abuse, the darkest day in the woods. I shiver, and put my silent smile back on and drown in the water of their voices.


But being too happy in thine happiness,—
That thou, light-winged Dryad of the trees,
In some melodious plot
Of beechen green, and shadows numberless,
Singest of summer in full-throated ease.

Darkling, I listen; and, for many a time
I have been half in love with easeful Death,
Call'd him soft names in many a mused rhyme,
To take into the air my quiet breath;

Forlorn! the very word is like a bell
To toil me back from thee to my sole self!
Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well
As she is famed to do, deceiving elf.
Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades
Past the near meadows, over the still stream,
Up the hill-side; and now 'tis buried deep
In the next valley-glades:
Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
Fled is that music:—Do I wake or sleep?

~exc. from Ode to a Nightingale, Keats ~