koi sidebar

A Quarterly Journal
Jeffrey Woodward, Founder & Owner
Ray Rasmussen, General Editor

Volume 11, Number 1, March 2017


Rich Youmans
North Falmouth, Massachusetts, USA

Dance with Me

Belle’s ankle clicks with every step, and a sudden rain has raised the arthritis in her thumb. Earl’s back twinges whenever he turns, and his shoulder aches like a bad tooth. But tonight...tonight is Friday night. After the backyard maples have turned to shadow, the leftover cod has been packed and stored, and the dinner plates stand dripping in their rack, it’s time. Belle finds the candle with the citrus scent. Earl digs out the CD from its stack. Then those low, urging voices fill the kitchen, the galluping strings, their Latin air. Tile by tile, they samba toward the other. As Ben E sings—a trumpet’s timbre—their hands lock, their bodies move closer and closer, tighter and tighter. The strings swell, the tambourine shimmers, the old bones turn lighter and lighter, Darling won’t you please...won’t you please...won’t you please...

their song—
flecks of gray
spark in candleglow



|contents page | first tanka prose |

koi sidebar r