Once when we went dancing
In a ballroom streaked with light
Your eyes were brown, your feet were prancing,
And the yellow glow banished fright.

Swirling, juggling, swooping, swaying,
Cutting grooves into the darkness,
Drifting with the music playing,
Golden pools against the starkness.

A glass of wine, a midnight toast.
A strident story, a light projection,
A jest, a laugh, asides, a boast,
A night defined by gay convention.

No fear, no problem here, my dears,
No evil shapes against the shades,
No risk of loss, just waltz and cheer,
Just dance before the music fades.

Too soon the drum crashed through its shell,
Too soon the violins sour,
The lights squished out, the candles fell.
Darkness wins back each hour.

Quick-kindle lights,
Quick-ring the bells:
Quick-save the night,
Ward off the hells.

What’s that you say?
You’ve lost your legs?
Your arms are dead,
Your head on fire?
You mean to say, the night has won?
In spite of dancing, wine, desire?

Nights weaves grey walls
From strips of skies
That drip with lies
And bleed all seams,
And nighttime calls
From might have beens
And trips and dies
Like nascent dreams.

You think you win when you play?
Nighttime wins. It kills the day.
And what’s your role? You know, you bitch.
You held the knife. You threw the switch.
There once was hope. Remember when?
You drowned it. It won’t rise again.
So live your life, its patterns set,
If you won’t give, you just don’t get.

And if you think my heart won’t hurt,
Go out and find it in the dirt.
Just remember, we’ll both look fine.
Living cool, behind the line.

What’s really lost?
The total cost?
What never grew:
Two lives askew.