“I find in life we get what we need most when we need it most.” Julie – The Tango Room



It proved difficult

to find. Three times

I passed on foot

before the door

appeared set back

surrounded by

an ivy covered

wall. Entering,

I beheld

an angel.


“We try to decorate,” she said.

“Saturday nights we have a social

gathering. We dress. It really is

a family.”

Yet, if every wall were barren,

every color drab,

the atmosphere, the

expectancy of ecstasy

in motion would be here.

The room,

this empty room

exuded promise.

“Last weekend,” she said,

“we had eighty people.”


“Not the legs. Not the arms,”

he said.

“With your body.


Is this clear?”

Then he began.

Always with the

understated elegance of

a gentleman,

un gentilhombre

one might say.

“You see, just so.”

Teaching with a

fine internal

line of rhythm,

a graceful strength

contained within a

crisply tailored shirt,

a pair of pleated slacks

and soft grey dancing

shoes. His voice

quietly preceding.

“Again please with

the music.”

Without show

or pretense,

only by the power

of perfection,

this teacher

moves you.



is your first partner.

Not the partner of your

dreams, she who comes

quietly smiling, arms extended

to enfold, a luscious scent,

embracing with her arms.

Not yet.

There she stands,

before you and she says,

“You do not know what to do.”

“You do not know how to move.”

“You move poorly. You cannot

please me. I am impatient

to be pleased. I am impatient

with you. Yet try to please me.

You are here to try.

Move slowly, fool, even as you

approach me, because

you do not know how to move.”


Take her in your arms.

Crush her.

Grind her to dust.

Strike her with a blow

she does not feel.

So when alone,


she thrills.


Feet know so much,

so eloquent, so quick.

Stepping intricately in

complete enunciation

of the dance. Feet

know their place,

between each other, side

by side, stepping

then stopping still

in grace. Feet

pronounce the rhythm,

feel the pulse

of this the dance in

which feet are

best forgotten,

as when a sly

woman in cunning poise

slides her whole body

up her partner.


Red shoes,

flashing through

your partner’s lead.

Red shoes, intricately,

effortlessly, tantalizingly

near me.

Red shoes, please,

turn this way.

Upon your heels.

Upon your toes.

Upon my soul.



They seem to be

dreamers. Dancing

in a dream. He dreams

of her. She dreams

of him. They dream

of others.

Dancing, they dream

the endless dream

of lovers.


Eyes closed,

they hold

each other close.

So very close.

These bodies


as smoke

might move.


languid and

slow, but no.

Quicker now

and quickly the



There are no shadows

in a darkened room.

You be mine, my shadow,

part of me, but free

to flow away.

Now return.

There is no

darkness in the light

of our embrace.

Shadow, face to face

we flow together in

this tender trance of life.

There are no shadows

in a darkened room.

Be mine.


Why these mirrors?

Isn’t it enough to

feel you, catch

your scent? Sense

the tracery of your hair?

Possess you these

few moments?

Must we see ourselves

as others see us?

Why must these mirrors

be, when there is only

you and me?


Upon my shoulder

you place your hand.

No maiden ever offered

herself more tenderly

within a lover’s grasp,

or placed herself

upon the altar

of his will more gracefully.

My dear,

you make me

a very important