It’s the end of the evening, a lingering haze of sweat and laughter,
changing shoes and packing up instruments in a contented ache of feet and fingers,
and one of the dancers still dizzy says to me, “I love it when you stop playing!”
Now, I knew what he meant, and took the compliment—
any good piano player knows when to drop out and let the fiddles fly,
shucking off the bass notes that held them and the dancers to the ground,
and then the fiddles turn and drop an octave and the mandolin pops,
sprinkling sparklers over the packed floor flashing back in their eyes,
so that when the whole band finally crashes back in all that soaring kindling ignites
and the hall explodes into another breathless, fearless hour of dancing.
And I watch this fellow twirl off with his partner,
back to a life that was, for a few hours, suspended,
raised up into a space of fiery flight, spun about and transformed,
ready to crash back, breathless, fearless, and turn the world on its toes.