ELISE WITH SHARPIE MUSTACHE
Stunning as a stevedore
in stolen evening wear – sharp creased trousers, a monocle –
you trip up the stairs, lighter
than hair, surrounded by bathing-suit beauties,
lemon yellow chiffon
chicks, who synchronize
their swim around your every move –
what you were afraid would happen did.
Those of us still living
remember your Melbourne Shuffle,
a rapid step and glide,
as if the world were frictionless
and swept clean of all those
Now every night you twirl
your cane and thrust it
forward to the audience, who oooooo
at your American Smooth –
but I’ve upset you.
Here, muddle this mint in rum, let the oils
coat your tongue in numb
disregard this little earful,
and instead let me be your backup
dancer, to be pressed
to the wall in your dressing room –
my petals crushed –
once more, with feeling.
Previously published in Phoebe: A Journal of Arts and Letters, Spring 2011.