nine ladies dancing
without music. without shoes. hungry
as sharpened wolves. their love a porous
wealth, it flows through the skin in
drunken waves. their mouths are careful
stains this night, apt to taste of every
brazen trend: the lemon and the lime,
whispers, twists, and hints. nine ladies
dancing. in laddered tights. in concave
fortunes, perfume-counter pockets
turned. by the light, by the light
of their silvery screens, to the gliding,
wilful melodies of text alerts
and ringtone minuets. women
flaking goldleaf like cathedral
ceilings. their steps explode in
wayward sweet fleurets, spinning.
nine ladies dancing, who dream in bitter
symmetries, bodies bought to tender
ruin, over again, and then –
nine ladies stirred. some misty rhythm,
a pulse the wrist could not contain. nor
the night. nor the inner myrrh
of drudgery. nine ladies dancing round
and round. days they spend, shattered
and assailed, but by a sudden quirk
of drink become this marvellous spilling
once. nine ladies dancing. not for you.
on the head of a pin. beneath last year's lights.
Dr Fran Lock is a some-time itinerant dog whisperer, the author of seven poetry collections and of numerous chapbooks, most recently Contains Mild Peril (Out-Spoken Press, 2019). Fran has recently completed her Ph.D. at Birkbeck College, University of London, titled, "Impossible Telling and the Epistolary Form: Contemporary Poetry, Mourning and Trauma". She is an Associate Editor at Culture Matters.