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Dance Party

© Phillip Phillips

We talk about it. Yeah, we do. In my house, we talk about a lot. The mundane living stuff, movies, books, music, groceries, even the weather. And, death. We talk about that, too. Well, I do most of the talking. The persistent, detective’s daughter, ever annoying and inquisitive. The fervent need to know what comes next, how it should look, the driving force. The uncomfortable, inevitable last chapter. Well, you know. So yeah, we talk about the awfully, uncomfortable details. My most important person and me. The one that birthed me, gave me a life, the one that does the grunt work. Grinding up the gizzards for the holidays, the not so fun chores, traditions I rebuke. She watched as I make mistake after mistake, stuck on repeat. She told me to get up, brush it off, only to fall flat. Do it all over again. She did that, supported the triumphs and tears. So, I talk now. A lot. And I ask, one more time. Needing to get the ending right. She doesn’t want a confining box, that I’m sure. Never been boxed in before, why start now? Ashes are to be sprinkled, here and there. I know the exact, precision spots, the ideal time of day and year. I will do that, for her. I can do that, without being asked. Moral responsibility tells me so. She has her playlist composed, with all the familiar songs. The old favorites, classics that spanned a lifetime of happy, memories and intimate moments defined by a song. Per instruction, I’m to play them loud. To dance, sing and try to be happy. Celebrate this one life, no pity party necessary.


Chalk it up to morbid curiosity, the incessant need to know. I want the same, more or less. I’m spelling it out for you, now. No fuss, no muss. A quick mass to cover the bases. Ashes catch a ride on a spring, almost summer breeze, somersaults in mid-air without form, the spirit lives in the ether, light and easy. My playlist is a work in progress. I choose the songs carefully, with attention to detail. I’ve rocked out in stadiums, danced hot, sticky and sopping wet with delirious abandon, listened quietly to headphones, alone in the dark. Sitting by an open window legs perched on a sill, trying to get some relief from the overbearing, city heat. Feeling alive and independent. I revel in the silence and red stained lip from a half empty glass of Pinot Noir. The solitary me moment, the lone candle casts shadows upon the wall. I am moved to tears by a melody. A dance party. Yes, that’s exactly what I want. With happy colors and a lifetime’s intimately compiled playlist. A million, orange paper lanterns illuminate the night sky. A muffled, bass undertone lifts me up. Yes, that’s how heavenly it shall be. The maudlin, well-meaning, over thinker in me, has high hopes and glorified dreams.

Published in POETRY & PROSE

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