of step again, ribald rhythm plays
its tricks from Hell. Right leg kicks, left leg
stays put. Oh, vile muscles, memory's betrayal!
Swallow that pill as you smile. No one likes vague.
The audience can't see your “Oh, shit!” thoughts,
but be expressive. They'll forgive your flubs
if you shake your fringe and wink as you were taught.
Glitter toss! Now count to eight, Beelzebub.
Blow a kiss, shiftslideturn, all the applause
comes from hips and gaze, your electric hands.
You do not ask, you earn. Empress of Awe,
your screw-ups erase with the lift of a fan.
Feathers pillow your skin as you lean,
tassels twirl, light licks silver sequins.
- Jennifer Hill