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Tabletop Dancing

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My sister dances brashly on the kitchen table,
limbs and hair a flying blur, at once here and everywhere;
there is no shame in improvised jigs
and songs poorly sung,
she says, as she does her jaunty Irish step
and her voice echoes loud up three flights of stairs.

Go to sleep, we’d tell her, long after the sun had set
and the quiet town had no other sound at all,
than her belting out singles
like a comedic wannabe, a menace armed with a karaoke machine;
and still her laugh echoes like a nagging truth
that can’t be told to go away;
now, how does one live with their eyes closed
and their head in dreamland night and day?

Passion and movement, there’s a guiding philosophy!
Why do you stare like an imbecile at the dirt and the cement,
my sister would say,
as though they might all at once
shake beneath your feet --
there’s a sun above your head,
and a fireball that dances like a neon sunflower
could not be so big, without someone
having intended for it to be noticed!

You are a cosmic joke,
the droll textbooks chant as they speed
like bored race cars through the course of history --
but here, the joke has found a pen,
and has learned an arsenal of words!

Time does not bury that which can jump
on tabletops as though possessed,
that which stares upward forever,
that which of truth and life loudly speaks.



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