March 5, 2009



What could be more sacred
than our saturated skin?
Legs crossing, thighs on thighs
coals smolder in our eyes

What could be more holy
than this stoic dance of sin?
Hands like knives, never fly
Passionate? It's all a lie.


jared david said...

'coals smolder...' is a beautiful line...captures the look i would want to see in my partners eyes...if i could tango

Mairi said...

Well, I wish I could dance. I've seen films of people doing the tango and I knew this is what they were thinking.

Sara said...

I like how sensual the poem in and yet the meaning is cold, bitter, absent of sensuality. I enjoyed the contrast.

Lawrence Gladeview said...

dorla- i enjoy the alliteration executed in s1, it bounces off the reader well, and is a delicate set-up for the second stanza. "hands like knives" is a cutting line, and i like it. nice write, look forward to reading more.

Dorla Moorehouse said...


Thanks! That's definitely what I'm going for, for a couple of reasons. First, the tango isn't really a romantic dance; it was something performed by a female prostitute and the man who procured her services. So the tango for me has always been something sexual but not sensual. And second, many, if not most, competitive dancers are not romantically involved with their dance partners. So you have to maintain this illusion of sexual tension even if off the floor you have no interest in each other.

Dorla Moorehouse said...



The "hands like knives" is particularly important because the tango handhold is distinctive from other ballroom dance holds. The woman's right hand is positioned horizontally beneath her partner's shoulder blade, simulating a knife. This simulation has historical significance. When this dance was performed by a prostitute and the man who purchased her services, she held a knife to his back to ensure that he behaved/followed the rules/paid.