Swing

Oh darling,

the snap of wood lit,

the crack of embers prancing,

heat scrawling a script half-writ.

The early end here dancing

as we sway and sway through charring ring.

I hold your waist, you guide my toe,

tread softly, yet, with purpose fling.

On tightrope bound to torched gallows,

choreographed, our final crash,

as goodbye scuffed our dancing shoes.

In time I struck the final match to light

your careful, timid fuse.

We dance on through the pleading glow,

shot down, short love, our fleeting time.

Pray only that it takes us both,

leaves neither you nor I behind.


This poem is about falling in love when you know it’s not going to work. There is something defiant in that, that I think Hollywood misses. Sure, if we’re lucky in our lives, we meet the “one.” But life’s messy and beautiful and imperfect and I’ve always felt that the journey is the point not the preface. I tried to play with the imagery of fire because it is both brief, dazzling, and can burn you if you’re not careful. The dance is not for a show, it’s genuine. It’s a special form of devotion to skip around a dance floor together while it slowly burns up. I hope I captured that here.

Featured image by Augustine Ng