The lady behind me said to her friend
That they called this dance, Light and Shadows.
She had pearled nails and a brooched-blouse,
She clutched her programme like an umbrella.
I said nothing because I was listening
To the lady behind me, the one with the friend.
I listened to them and watched a man in a woollen jumper
Sweep the outskirts of the hall—
Stickered and scuffed by the school-shoe-shuffle.
I listened to them but remembered the music somewhere else.
I see lovers she’d said to the lady,
The friend saw lovers in the shadows and light.
That near endless hunger of first love
When lovers love so much they fuse into each other
And come out the other side—strangers, back to back.
And I remember thinking being belly up with you
Pushing your way in, fusing like she said.
And me feeling something, a near endless hunger
Lying belly up with you, pushing my way back—
Both of us sweating—me feeling something.
But we don’t come out back to back like strangers,
Like she said…
We look at each other,
Swollen bellies the pair of us
And then me with the swollen eye.
Not strangers because you know who I am.
Stupid bitch like you say.
As you sit back into the shadows and light a cigarette.
And I put my blue hands over my swollen belly—
Afraid my naked womb has ears.