Has Death asked me to step out on the floor? For a tango,

long and difficult? Will I need attitude, strength

to learn new steps?


I don’t expect a polka. With luck a waltz, a whirl

of warm music in which I’ll get lost rising

and sinking in my partner’s arms.


If the evening is long, I’d like breaks. Catch breath

on a chair pushed back from foxtrotters. Fade

with wallflowers.


But it might be a marathon that ends with collapse,

then the rat-a-tat-tat of his tap dance

for which I have no shoes.


by Catherine Gonick

Catherine Gonick’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Boston Review, Caveat Lector, Crack the Spine, decomP, DIAGRAM, Front Porch Review,  Ginosko, Amarillo Bay, Word Riot, Soul-Lit, Sukoon, Forge, Jet Fuel Review, Notre Dame Review, and Jewish Women’s Literary Annual. Her poetry has also appeared in the Crack the Spine Winter 2015 Anthology. She was awarded the Ina Coolbrith Memorial Prize for Poetry.

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