Tango Words

Steps for the Only Dancer



Travelling for days without arrivals
just the night’s snatched pauses
moving slower than the slow-changing land
dry and wide under the tall, hot sky
cold fingers tracing
the dark-eyed girls who fear
and long for love


1 Shaking with something
sometimes the only dancer
at the party in moments
that storm the flesh
and seize the soul

2 Her eyes may demonstrate
the effect of something
coming out of silence
and the imagined languages
of our beating blood

3 I recall standing by the stable,
the clipped ring
of the hammered horseshoe
and the bitter savour
of these lonely freedoms

4 Varieties of experience
pleasures and longings
and dreams caught
stirring again
in this closed room

5 Perhaps she feels her way
carefully catching
the edges of
of the meanings
of these words

6 The spreading silence
continues its journey
while she grasps the maps
beyond his words and darkness
reflects her song

7 She ignores the voices
and the sad enticement
of the moments
comfortably exchanged as
the shared years are shaped

8 These walls a trap
for shadows to echo
sounds of their birth
hammering at the bruises
unravelling the days without arrivals

9 Reading these times
holding the lines
she may leave him a message
to tell him again
the secret of her name