Poem 26 ± June 30

Tom Capelonga
In Disco Credemus

“Go out dancing tonight, my dear, and go home with someone, and if the love doesn’t last beyond the morning, then know I love you.”
—Andrew Holleran, Dancer from the Dance

You and I will never dance
at the Saint or Studio 54

but we’re at our best laughing
in our private discotheque.

Dim all the lights sweet honey
‘cause tonight it’s you and me—

chairpersons of the committee against
poor dance floor etiquette

assembled to surrender limbs and hips
to Dionysius and chant from

the canon of Donna and Abba
passed down to us from

Christopher Street and our
Bronx-or-Brooklyn mothers.

We dance beneath burdens
lighter than theirs—

our mothers have seen to it
and the ghosts of clones and pier-queens

teach us liberation’s limits
with a virus at the margins.

(Is there not a share of grief in us
for those who disappeared too soon?

What friends we could have made
among the angels at the Everard.)

Still heaven knows the city takes its tithe
in spilled drinks and lines at the door

in biting words from boys born elsewhere
and tears and rust and bullshit pouring

forth onto hot sidewalks.
Our cackling is a cool rinse

on dirty hands and faces
as we soar above our grievances

on melodies like hymns,
burning herbs to please the gods

and to mark a thousandth lifetime
together — a pair of queens dancing,

unafraid to show the soft parts
underneath their steel, bound by vows

to guard this temple where
disco never died.

Tom CapelongaTom Capelonga is a 27 year-old native of New York City. His poems have appeared in FourTwoNine Magazine and Podium. He lives in Manhattan.

This poem is not previously published.