December 6, 2022
It’s been spring for days, but no one told the winter
sun splashing light through the windows,
apple juice after the ice cubes have melted.
Tom Petty is here breaking hearts,
Louisiana Rain pouring down the speakers,
but he’s three days too late to break yours.
The light is as weak as your smile, so I lace
our fingers, pull you up and close. Inside the walls
of the song it’s closing time at the honky-tonk,
and we’re slow dance grasping in the spotlight,
arms around neck, head to chest. He toasted us
on our wedding day, “may all of your dances
be first ones,” and here we are, taking the floor
for our first dance in the days after
death. Around here no one hires DJs
or dances at funerals, but shouldn’t we?
Wouldn’t the ones we love enough to bury
want us dancing with their memory? Wouldn’t
the days and weeks feel more full if we spent them
making one final mixtape? Myself, I want
to be played out on a ?uestlove drumline,
Kamal Gray making that keyboard sing.
I want our son alone on the dancefloor
with Diana Ross to hold him for me,
Endless Loving him even after my heart gives out.
France Klein (she/her) is a poet and teacher writing at the intersection of disability and gender. She is the author of the chapbooks New and Permanent (Blanket Sea 2022) and The Best Secret (Bottlecap Press 2022). Klein currently serves as assistant editor of Southern Humanities Review. Readers can find more of her work at https://kleinpoetryblog.wordpress.com/.