by Lew Watts

In Argentine tango, a tanda is a set of pieces of music — usually 3 to 5 — after which there is a short break.

I don’t suppose you’ll ever understand.
Why would you when all tango music grates
and grinds your bones to dust, and clouds are gray —
they’re never white — and why? is a verbal hand-
slap when I tap my feet through a complete tanda?
For you, the evening warmth is a silence game,
with a homely partner by your side, stayed
by strings to his wings, lashed and grounded to land.
But I even hear its rhythm in the dish-
washer and in the ring-tone on my phone.
And when I walk in Wholefoods there’s pride
of step and an urge to spin the cashier. This
is where I really go, dancing alone,
much worse than having a guilty smoke outside.

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Lew Watts is originally from Wales. After many years working in Europe, Africa and the Middle East, he now lives in the US, working as an energy consultant in Washington DC. His poetry has been published previously in various magazines and anthologies in Europe, and his first US work will appear this year in Decanto (UK), Modern Haiku, New Mexico Poetry Review, Ribbons, Raintown Review and Umbrella.
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Pat Jones
Published 20 May 2010