Poet’s Note: This poem is inspired by a photograph by Aaron Siskind, published in Phaidon The Photo Book, p. 423.
They’re dancing! She’s laughing!
She’s laughing and her face is buried behind his overextended arm;
just slightly overextended his hand past her hand up-reaching-too.
His leg is overextended, knee higher than hip, her hip and his;
they’re both hep and kicking it, they’re kicking up floor shine
in the photographic silence that makes a moment click.
His eyes are wider than wide –
his eyes are as wide as his mouth –
his face faces the sky, her face faces her guy –
his mouth shapes the loudest of sounds
and her laugh glows with their acoustic contours.
The Savoy Ballroom is invisible in the dark,
the varnished floor halos the duo below then vanishes
along with the location which will forever be embodied –
this place is these two people forever,
Harlem history written by her laugh.