Thursday, November 11, 2010

Poem: "William B. Youngblood Looks at a Filipino Go-Go"


William B. Youngblood Looks at a Filipino Go-Go

Everything I gave was to get rid of you
As one gives to the beggar. There. Go away.
—Margaret Atwood, “Cressida to Troilus:  A Gift”


His body swaying to music throws a glance
at me and, in turns, others through the cage.
I do not know the dancer or the dance

but attend every Friday on the chance
he’d sway and ache for me despite my age,
he’d grant, for pity’s sake, more than a glance.

He pauses, for a heartbeat, when I enhance
the bulge of his silk crotch with his paper wage.
O, I know what the dancer wants from his dance.

What do I want? The pectoral advance?
A wifely kiss? To fill the butt’s cleavage
with my old body? Night extends the glance

into a corridor entered in a trance,
to a dark room behind the strobe lit stage,
where we may know the dancer, not the dance.

I throw my jacket over all my wants,
domestic, holy, beggaring, savage,
and turn to leave, with a backward glance,
the dancers who are dancers when they dance.

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