If there was a new way to dance, I hope
the first step is to give your last dollar
to a stranger. That you firmly hold
your partner’s hands and hips
while talking softly in the shower.
Instead of tapping your feet,
you’d pray for someone who isn’t eating enough.
You wouldn’t learn to breakdance, pop-and-lock, twerk:
but you’d savor a fresh cup of green tea and honey,
get sand beneath your toes while practicing
handstands on the beach, and take time for naps.
A new kind of dance, where there are no missteps
because there is no wrong way
to laugh heartily at a good joke,
kiss lovingly in a downpour after missing a train,
or watch a child learn to read.
In this dance, the music never stops
because cats don’t stop purring,
the wind will always blow over the grass,
while mothers coo at their babes, brothers argue
over who gets to be which Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle
as sisters joyfully sigh.
And in this new dance, no one is sitting. Everyone dances.
Every young man too shy to move
is greeted by a pretty smile.
Every elderly couple who thinks that
their dancing days are long behind them
find themselves singing while making
cranberry sauce for Thanksgiving with perfect rhythm.
And every girl who is timid
because they’ve danced with boys who have stepped on their toes
will find someone to write poetry with on planes.
Max Henderson is a doctoral student in physics at Drexel University. Originally from Coatesville, Pennsylvania, he researches neural networks and quantum computation when he’s not too busy watching Adventure Time. His poems are about making mistakes while drinking a good, dark beer. He has been published online in Black Heart Magazine, Crack The Spine, the Ampersand Review, and Citizen Brooklyn, and has work in Crack The Spine’s Spring 2013 Anthology.