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
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.
This poem is not previously published.