Please — don’t ask me to dance. Don’t persist when, politely, I decline. Don’t approach me on this moonless night, in this quiet, wooded glade, and dismiss my protests, pull me onto the parquet dance floor.
You don’t understand. I don’t wish to be cajoled or encouraged. I have no desire to be shamed. I lack your surety, your confidence. Can you not see, how my left leg gives beneath me? How it cannot bear my weight? Do my hands not speak of desperation? Certainly, my fingers – stiff and rigid as they are – must bite at the tender flesh at your neck and shoulders, clinging, grasping?
But no – you don’t seem to notice. You weave over the dance floor. Your scarlet shoes brush the wooden, geometric patterns with your light step. You are ease of motion, liquid in style and confidence. You are unburdened by my gracelessness, my awkward gait and dragging, enfeebled limb.
And when, discomfited, I try to make light of the situation – of myself and my incompetence; when I call my efforts “flop-footed” — you dismiss my attempts at humor. Gravely, you pull me across the parquet floor.
On this moonless night.
In this wooded glade.
Beneath witness, speechless trees.