Red Hot Heart

In the Land of Shag
the dance of romance
goes on.

Holding hands
at the edge of the floor
feels dangerous.
The music touches you,
as it did when the song was new.
When young, foolish,
and racing to be in love,
you fell into it, or jumped,
as often as the records
on the jukebox changed.

Chasing love and making it,
you learned the dance
of brief romance,
like the basic step of the shag.
Addiction to both was unavoidable.

No matter your age,
the bonfire of desire
burns high and hot.

Long-dead flames merely require
a well-timed spark.

Love strikes
and cool-headed wisdom,
like liquid dipped
from the fountain of youth,
comes to a boil
in a red hot heart.

In The Land of Shag,
fools in love are numerous.

More numerous still
are couples together
who’ve made love and kept it,
surviving the fire of new romance.

You hear the story again and again
of a chance meeting:

One dancer finds another.
Neither can look away.
The invitation is honest,
something hidden
has already been revealed.
The declaration of desire
is almost casual.

Perhaps you will fall again, you think,
unencumbered by fear of rejection,
too old to care
if love-at-first-sight
is real.
Whatever it is,
the rhythm of youth rekindled
inspires the nerve to try.

you’re ahead of the game.

And so you dance.

The music takes you
where time
left you suspended in memory,
as young as you were
the first time,
and every time
you couldn’t get it out of your head,
that maybe this time,
your new partner
would be the perfect one.

For as long as you dance
in the valley of the possible,
hope is as real as the music.

The touch of another
restores your memory of tenderness.
Kissing a hungry mouth
invites your appetite.

In love,
your days evolve in cocoons heat.
The nights
die the miniature deaths of butterflies.
In the Land of Shag,
ordinary life is the dance of romance.