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Wednesday, December 30, 2009

The Only Naked Man in the Room

The Only Naked Man in the Room

danced among the guests to no music in the room.

I am what I am, he laughed.

No one seemed to notice him.

In tiny clusters around the room everyone just kept talking
stirring plastic sticks in their martinis
adjusting their backs when their laugh
joined the laugh of the rest of the coterie
because someone said something
that must have been funny.

The naked man danced

across the big tables
past guacamole and cheese
around the little rubber tree—
he must have taken time from the music
of the spheres—dancing oblivious circles round
lighted sculputary hunks of magma.

The people did not let themselves frown

though he passed himself around like a tray of daiquiris
until the crowd that could not comfortably pretend any longer
to ignore him, nodded and thank-you’d and shook the hosts’ hands
and goodbyed. Even the gentleman who slammed down his drink
and nearly hushed the room when he cried “Put some clothes on dammit”
slouched through the door and was gone just as soon
as the almost halted talk resumed

leaving the naked man to his twists and turns.

 The room
thinned
until no other soul remained
but one

fully clothed

who smiled at the smiles of the harmless man

Would she care to join him?

I do enjoy your dancing, she said,
to the naked man who stopped
half hidden
behind the little tree.

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