Dance Me

—after K. Mockler

Dance me to your beauty with a burning violin.
—Leonard Cohen

My girl friend tells me she smells Barbies when she
listens to Leonard Cohen, smells their hair, their plastic boots because
these were what she was playing with when she first heard
the light get in on her Sanyo portable radio and cassette player.
Those cracked pink shoes she slid over Barbie’s toeless
feet dancing her to the end of her love affairs flares up
olfactory and baritone.


My great grandfather’s face cracked into pieces, the light getting in.
Cohen was playing in his room. He claimed to smell burning
hair and crepe sole.

He only shared one story from the camps with my father. Bodies
lined up for the ovens, one group saved for last, sawing out classical
numbers in a string quartet before their numbers were up.
One of the players, he said, was wearing white nubuck leather cap toes
when the fire hit the horsehair.