October 2008 / Volume 8 / Issue Three
John A. Grochalski
dancing in the light

last night we were in the midtown bar
drunk on five-dollar drafts.
our favorite irish rock band was playing
from the stage
and people were dancing and hoisting pints
and you were dancing
and you were happy because i was dancing
but really i was only standing there
spinning you in circles.
then i looked over and saw the lead singer's wife.
she was a cute blonde that we'd met
only moments ago,
and i thought about how you pointed out to me
that she was pregnant.
so i watched her for a bit, spinning you,
pretending to dance,
amazed at how she glowed that pregnant glow
people always talked about.
i liked the way she stared at her husband
on the stage,
moving, mouthing the words of his songs.
then i reeled you in and you kissed me.
our favorite irish rock band played a 1980s cover
and i pulled you closer, just to smell your hair.
and in that moment i got so lost in the lights
i got this itch for something more,
like my own immortality and yours too.
it made me want to touch your stomach
and hang on.
i thought maybe i'd talk to you about it
after the show.
but on the train i started thinking about money
and bad luck, the fates and ambition,
high cholesterol and bad blood and cancer
high blood pressure,
the cost of a new york minute, suicide in the family
and anything else you can imagine.
so i chose to say nothing
which was probably the right choice
because it was after midnight, we were tired,
you put your head on my shoulder to go to sleep,
and i always say the wrong thing
when i've been drinking anyway.
RETURN to OCTOBER 2008