Monday, June 6, 2011

The Fred&Ginger

All great loves are the marriage of two dances.
One wants to foxtrot; the other wants to waltz.
One wants to tango; the other wants to stroll.

This one wants to tap dance; that one wants to polka.
One says "I'll lead," the other says "I'm leading."

You'd think that when they hit the floor
they'll really hit the floor,
that it'll be like amateur kickboxing
or girls fighting in an Elvis movie,
rolling on the ground as they pull each other's hair,
or two contestants trying to out-shout each other
with lines not even Sondheim could rhyme.

Which is exactly how it plays out, more often than not,
because one of them wants to win,
or both of them want to win,
which is the quickest way to lose.
Seriously--we're talking speed of light quick here.
Blink and you miss it quick.
Fall out of love quick.

The only way to truly win in love's dumb
they-shoot-horses-don't-they marathon
is if both partners lose
and lose badly
every time the juke box plays their song.
Epic losing. 
Face-plant losing.
Red Sox in 1986 losing.

That's the kind of losing you need
to make poetry together--
to make an impromptu mambo
that is the bastard child of its competing steps,
something neither one of you could choreograph alone--
a move that only you can do together,
a dance that has no name except for yours--
The Bill&Pat,  The AbeNicole.

The Tom&Fred, The Tom&Deb.
The MichalJay, The FranckElizabeth.

This is what love is:

two people floating
over the broken glass of shattered expectations
and making the impossible look easy,
making a cakewalk look like a cakewalk
even though it takes everything inside you to keep up,
even though it's killing your feet,
you wouldn't have it any other way
because you want your partner more
than you want to dance your own dance.

Which, if you're lucky, you will never get to do
because the truth is
the only way you get to dance your own dance
is when you do it alone.

Copyright 2011 Matthew J Wells

1 comment:

Molly said...

How very true. This is a most interesting piece, I enjoy the different rhythms as well as the content.