WALTZ ANOTHER NIGHT AWAY (A GENTLER TYPE OF LIFE)
by AIKA ADAMSON (United States)
Issue 2.1 April 2020
The night comes with a special kind of softness,
where the music swells and carries itself through the hall,
and we all shed our armor,
for that fleeting connection of souls.
A warm haze settles on the hall;
I catch your eye through the masses,
just for a moment
before we both look away
and keep dancing.
The light touch of a hand on my waist,
behind me, I hear laughter,
light as a sparrow in flight;
this, too, is electrifying.
In this moment, we are more aware of our bodies than ever before,
leading and being lead in circles,
allowing ourselves to feel the presence of those around us,
rather than hide away from it all.
My hand lingers for a moment,
then my doe-eyed partner is swept away by the dance.
Your hand trails along my waist,
comfort and a burning fire all at once.
Come closer, your eyes say,
and I obey, falling closer in this waltz of longing,
barely tripping over our feet as we lose ourselves to the moment.
Your face is unguarded, honest.
Is it any wonder that I'm in love?
The swirl of fabric from your dress distracts me,
until you pull me closer, closer,
and I shiver from the feel of your breath on me.
My hand tightens its hold on yours;
in our most soul-baring exchange, only one word has been uttered,
yet I have heard everything else you've said,
just as you've heard me.
We understand each other,
down to the atoms in our bones,
then I am swept away into another dance,
in the arms of another loveless lover,
baring her soul to me beneath the singing of the violins.
I follow her steps, instinct more than practice,
and promise you another dance;
we know better than to say it out loud—
some promises will always be broken.
But for tonight, I will find my way back into your arms,
and we shall continue our search for a cure to our loneliness.
Aika Adamson is an avid reader, writer, and aikidoka from Arizona who is studying classics and linguistics at university. She is working on a novel and currently playing the new Animal Crossing game.