The Third Step in Every Minuet is Grief



These are the embraces we must now put away: like regret-patterned china,
like a sense of order in a mass evacuation

like a coil of gold uniform braid, discharged to a peace-time tailor’s,
like cooking madeira, poured from the glass back to the bottle, untouched –

how I would have put away the first moments of your coming back to me,
every touch catalogued and filed in a large box marked absolutely not.

Adoration is a non-linear inheritance, like your recessive night-blindness, it skips the kids
and lands flat-footed on the sprung-parquet floor of some demolished dance hall

in steel-tipped double sorrows. The third step in every minuet is grief, your shoulders
spinning away from me some obvious autumn morning. Affection doesn’t live well

outside the body, it must be preserved. Like hand-stich in the industrial revolution,
or historical revisionism in the face of recently discovered letters, which I had stored

safely at the back of the bureau.


About the author

Madeleine Dale is an emerging poet based in Brisbane, where she lives with the rapidly worsening fallout of global warming and her cat. Her work can be found in Uneven Floor, Pressure Gauge Press, The Tundish Review, and Voiceworks. She can be found yelling about reality cooking television at @mrj_dale 

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