Poetry From Past Issues

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         Lyn Lifshin


it's all up and down,
that ankle in your
heart ouches. We
got the beat, so
we're over the
barrel. Pull me in
and toss me away as
long as the music's
going. I'm that girl
in Buenos Aires,
swiveling hips, a big
jangely head dress,
glass chunks the
moon spit into
the night. Rubies,
sapphire and emerald
and hardly anything
else. My rollicking
strut will make
nipples blur like
tigers turning to butter
or the lines in a pin
wheel. My hips
a snake I think you'd
be almost afraid
to touch


the Russian teacher grins.
We do Latin tonight,
yes? Her face, candles
from a city close to
Moscow. Fans and spiral
swivels. The dance
floor's icy wood melts
under her giggle. The
beat is coming, the
beat is coming. What
wasn't done in the office
and should have been
blurs like the edges
of the room, fanning and
switling. My body lifts
upward, my knees soften
like those parts that let
existence begin


that dip toward
you like a heron going
for the glint of
fish and then I'm
backing away. A
little somnambulistic
sway. Who can
decide if they want
to go forward or
backward. Smooth,
you're smooth baby,
I could drift in
your arms. The
waves of the body,
and then we
dross over. What
arms could do

no matter icicles
are glazing doors

when the rumba
music starts to play,

starts the sway,
only your body

a touch, a dip,
the knees soften.

Give me a Spanish
comb, a flame

swirl, skin and
rock back to snap

in your body, your
eyes. Let me go,

let my hips lure
you and then

spiral me and let
me look deep


Nothing slow with a
sudden shot of spice.
no swivels, no soft
rock in a hot mango
breeze. Just, honey,
give me a rock step
into you know where,
baby, I'm waiting to
be pulled in. I've
softened my knees,
my hips are saying
what my lips won't
pressed up against your
hip. Bodies should
be blending, a dip
then a promenade.
Wild love and hate
Staccato. Uncurl me,
throw me out and
then pull me reckless-
Čly back again