Square Dance
#6. [The Figure Caller] must have an unerring geometric sense.
—Dr. Lloyd “Pappy” Shaw
Mark your corners and take the floor
caught in the lobby’s indiglow / finger
prints ghost the glass / the gold door
handle worn / dull like your storm
door when a sun / square slides over the white
Count One and Two and Three and Four
aluminum the shallow / X relief
where diags form / triags where
each edge casts / a shadow / you
thumb the handle the way / you thumb the black
Honor your partner honor your side
button / a reflected torso in both
doors’ windexed glass / when we meet
like this here / in another
hotel we never / know our luck to find
One’s a phantom and ain’t no bride
a single queen / bed or what looks the desk
clerk will give neck / ties loosened /
one room / left with double beds /
we take it / pay / I rub / the grey key card’s
Step to the middle and take his hand
inset / arrow as the clerk prattles on
about the continental
breakfast we will / skip / your hand
brushes my thigh my gut / preps for the drop
You’ve formed an X now allemande
when the elevator / stops loose flutter
like speeding down those hilly
Pennsylvania / roads but mixed
with that inner / itch the a-spot pulsates /
Stand side by side now don’t delay
your eyes burn like bronzed / leaves hall camera
checked / at the door / we do not
rip clothes off or worse cut / straight
to sex but linger / on button on snap
One step behind that’s the tandem way
mirror to each / other as we shimmy
off a sleeve as we unzip
and step from dress / pants no words
whispered in that pause / my lips / list their lone
Turn and face your partner’s eyes
esses again / again across your lips’
soft lines / lines erased by tongue
and teeth / how else to say / this
to pull all those nights into one / distilled
It shouldn’t be hard you’re both the same size
image / charcoal / framed print above the bed
line edge smeared a hint / of thumb
print / lines within lines shaded
blended all to suggest a pear / sitting
Let’s play arky rotate the square
in a bowl half / there half not upper side
one with the white / paper where
the light hits / it from sources
outside the frame pear / in bowl suggested
The belles turn beaus and the beaus don’t care
like our cradled bodies streaks / breaking flesh
breaking / open flesh’s edge
our edges diffuse / scumbled /
a smudged fit beneath this hotel / room print
Smudge those angles with a docey-doe
The square’s now a circle so off you go
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