by Leslie Ann Eisenberg

When I was bruised, beaten, forgotten
one breath from surrender,
Your smile a magnet, a caress
Cuban motion a slick commotion
on the floor with you is to kiss the air

When you step,
Your face a matador in movement
Bravado rich, the purest poise
The memory of your muscles
Automatic never static

Golden, the hours you give,
where we worship the same passion
I hunger to master the chainé,
Your devotion to the repetition
Trust blooming with every drop and dip
Oh, the Magic when we get it right!

Off the floor, Compassion abounds
in the stillness between our steps
A plastic chair, a burrito,
A nervous smile always betrays
The shy boy beneath, a softer side

Dear and ever humble friend,
Ever there with a jacket for my shoulders
Faithful companion with
generous hands and steady heart
Your enduring and patient loyalty
Never has a price and how lovely,

Don’t you see? You teach me more than steps
You teach me the way a man must treat a woman
And, you teach me something even more

That the joy I feel on the floor
once my only solace, dear one
is more than my awakened thirty five year-old dream
now. It seeps through my fabric every day
and every step is not toward perfection,
but in each step, I treasure the journey
and not the end


Author's Note: To a man of great integrity and the highest honor my dance partner. Happy Birthday, Carlos! Its great to see you dancing again, back where you belong. Your mother would be proud!

Posted on 10/24/2007
Copyright © 2018 Leslie Ann Eisenberg

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Kathleen Wilson on 10/24/07 at 02:22 PM

This poem has me "Graced" and "on the floor". What a dance--what a partner and what a dear poem "every step" placed "in stillness between our steps". This is what people dance for, this I know-- a partner such as this-- the "highest honor"-- truly bliss.

Posted by Chris Sorrenti on 10/24/07 at 04:55 PM

Nicely worded tribute Leslie Ann that dances across the page. Great to read you again! :o)

Posted by Elizabeth Jill on 10/24/07 at 11:15 PM

How beautiful and graciously written, like a ballet of poetry, an ode that wraps around a friendship. I love this!

Posted by Steven Kenworthy on 10/25/07 at 01:05 AM

"the memory of your muscles"...best line times ten. this poem definitely feels like a steaming dance between you and your latin partner over there in ca. the best part about this piece is that it doesn't come off as a cheap one night jive fest, but rather something extremely intimate (in a wholesome way) and intense...which good dance is. it reads like a really healthy married couple making the best of their lives. sensuous and worth reading as many times as you wish you were dancing right now.

Posted by Kristina Woodhill on 10/25/07 at 02:46 PM

I can see you dancing together and hear the music of this partnership. There is a special bond between those who dance well together. What a lovely tribute to this man. That you have taken what you have learned from this partner and applied it to the rest of your life is a tribute to you.

Posted by Gregory O'Neill on 10/25/07 at 08:31 PM

Hi Leslie. Nice to read you again, and this is a beaut. Thanks, keep dancing...scrape your shoes and the stars and hang upside down from the moon! Delighted.

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