circle dance

he steps around her in a slow circle
he’s not watching really
only from the corner of his eye
to never lose her from the sight-line
but he isn’t watching her
not really

she’s oblivious
hardly attending
what he’s doing isn’t relevant
she’s reading something in a book
about dance in a romantic century

he’s circling closer
nonchalant slow steps
on his toes
an insinuation whose eyes
are glancing elsewhere

this is coincidence
a pirouette from out of nowhere
she has closed the book
chapter ended
the dance is playing in her eyes
she doesn’t see him stepping close

she pictures an arm held out
to hold her hand
rises to her feet
a curtsey
a responding bow
half-step into a romantic scene

he circles further out
away from her
he only saw her
from the corner of his eye
she didn’t see him there at all

he circles again
circles far away
doesn’t see her anymore
she stops dancing
the reel that filled her head
has ended she

opens her eyes wide
and she can see a man in the distance
he’s dancing around another reader
but he seems not to have noticed
not really

© Frank Prem, 2002

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