—El Morocco, New York, 1955
Darling, let’s forget the details, dull
as they always are: who’s here and not, the room
as hot as breath and the orchestra lisping through
another number about love and harmless fun.
Let’s someday remember it better, romantically vague.
Let’s say I wanted to dance and so did you,
not pressed by the others together, no picture taken
of us spun drunken out from what’s behind
our looks and jokes and what is said, the sum
of all this goddamn work. Just a dance—
just sweet, like everybody sweetly else,
a man and woman sweetly moved. I know
no one forgets the ugly things they’ve known,
and yes, I know that love, for us, is sweat
and panic and some cameras, but it’s still love,
and we’ve done nothing wrong. So let them laugh
and then forget it all: those drinks and pills,
hands wet, that man who, grinning, made us dance
so here we are, we’re dancing. Let’s just pretend
that one of us—who would remember who?—
slipped through the grand and glittered dark and said,
Hello, fella. Hello and take my hand.