Why Don't You Dance

by Isaac Feuerman


     “Why don’t you dance?” he asks, and leans his head against the cold brick.

     “Is that what you want me to read?” she asks, and lays her tablet on her chest. Even without its light, he can see the valleys in her cheeks.

      “No, I want to know.” He pulls the bedding off the cement and around his body.

      “When was the last time we danced?” she asks, and moves closer to him to avoid the water dripping off the awning above them.

      “I’m not sure. At your cousin’s wedding, maybe?” he says.

      “You don’t remember?” she says.

      “I don’t know, when was it?”

      “Come on, think about it.”

      “Was it--it’s been so long, can you tell me where we were?”




      “Oh yes, and it must have been the end of summer then.”

      “It was.”

      “That’s when you were still working in Ballard, sewing handles onto those leather purses by the salmon cannery.”

      “I was.”

      “And I picked you up?”

      “I had just gotten off.”

      “And I drove you to Capitol Hill.”

      “No, you didn’t have a car. You came by the studio and we walked together.”

      “We used to walk that far?”

      “We used to do that then.”

      “Where did we go?”

      “Towards the lake, towards Gas Works.”

      “Towards the park, the bridge?”


      “And we got there?”

      “By that time it was dark.”

      “That park at night was always my favorite.”

      “And mine too.”

      “And we sat on our bench?”

      “For a while.”

      “And then what?”

      “And then we stood up.”


      “There was a crash. A car had wrapped itself around a pole. The radio was still on.”

      “Was anyone hurt?”

      “The driver. He was lying in the street when we got there. The passenger, she had gotten out of the car and propped him up against her chest, her arms around his waist. The radio was still on, and they swayed.”

      “And so did we.”

      “And so did we.” 


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