The Witching Hour
C’mon, pour another, my mother’s friend says.
The juke throbs.
Everybody black dancing the wobble
in that Florida town. Tonic fizzes in two fingers of vodka.
As my mother
commemorates her beauty with a selfie,
I’m dancing with trees
that are not trees but black and brown people. Strobe lights
flower on our arms.
The only gay bar in this Midwestern town is called Live,
not as in give but
hive—imagine if bees were nocturnal,
making physical what night is
on their patrols: possibility. Imagine centuries of women
walking alone in the woods
(burned), living foreign and old (jailed), naming
Imagine the femme grinding against me,
granting me passage
into a pleasure at once theirs and only mine and ours.
Who we are to each other on the dancefloor shifts,
someone one hour, nothing another.
I will always be
my mother’s child. Even now she keeps me in attention
in the great night of her mind:
worry and hope and the skulking moon over hazy water.
Tomorrow she will text to make sure I’m alive.