If we didn’t know who we were, we knew
we wanted to dance.
Here, a world made up
of light and color, music and movement,
a casino of the imagination where the wheel
always came up red. The songs were mindless
but pulsed a rhythm like sex, like breaking away
toward something else – we weren’t sure what,
but we ached to go there.
Such clichés now, three decades on,
but how we threw the artificial stars from mirrored globes
across our shoulders and boogied down on electric floors –
do a little dance, make a little love, get down tonight.
We drank cheap lambrusco with 7-Up, sloe gin fizzes,
and gave the bartender our tiny purses to keep safe
while we prowled the room – girls made up
like baby drag queens, all hairspray, glitter, and slick lipgloss,
checking out boys who dripped fake gold chains from their bare
and skinny chests – how many polyesters did you kill to make that suit?
The foxiest girls slipped out with the foxiest boys
to sniff cocaine from tiny silver spoons
in the backseats of candy-colored muscle cars.
We coveted their feathered hair and perfect skin,
their grace on platform shoes, the way
the beautiful boys took their hands and led them out the door.
When we hit the dance floor,
we sang along as if we knew real loss –
I will survive – as long as I know how to love, I know I’ll stay alive –
waiting for that thing to happen
that would make all of this,
whatever it was, come true.