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Slow Dance No. 1084

By Sharlee Glenn

Unhinged he looked at her.

Clenched jaw working like a throbbing naked heart
she scrubbed the carrot till its
flesh glistened raw,
stripped of bitter gritty skin,
then slammed it down
took up the knife
and slashed the thing into a dozen startled discs.

“She’ll get her finger,” he thought
(half hoped)
amazed as always at the violence of her silence.

His mind gaped open
raced, reviewed
what done? not done?
then closed again, outspent.

One hand crept out
tentative, testing
and fingers tip-toed on her sleeve.
She jerked away—
then instantly contrite
turned back to see his altered eyes.
Self-loathing buttressed her perversity
and yet transposed the rage.

Thick-skinned? percipient? or suddenly moved by
some primeval instinct known to male alone
again he reached and touched.

She tensed

then yielding more to marriage than to man
she moved into his arms
and reaching high
placed hers about his neck.
And forgetting in a breath
the heaviness of the still-damp blade
now pendent down his back
they moved in rhythmic slow dance
across the time-worn tile.

About Sharlee Glenn

(Editorial Board) has an MA in humanities from Brigham Young University. She taught at BYU for a number of years before giving up academia for the writing life. She has published essays, short stories, articles, and poetry in The Southern Literary Journal, Women's Studies, Irreantum, Wasatch Review International, and BYU Studies. She has also published a novel and three picture books for young readers. Sharlee lives in Pleasant Grove, Utah with her husband, their five children, a very literary dog named Kipling, an escape-artist cat named Houdini, and a stuck-up beta fish named Flame.

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