The Lost Dance by Marisa Silva-Dunbar

The Lost Dance


At night you wanted me to paint shadow on your eyes,

the silver flecks and plum stuck to your bent lashes.

I’d press the cherry gloss into your lips, my fingertips

swirled the peach blush on your cheeks.


In the indigo mist of the dance floor, you wiggled

in your emerald skirt, asked if I thought you were the best

shaker—after too many Sambucas you told me

you were like a green M&M, melting on the blacktop.


Listening to crickets tangle in the jasmine vines

you’d lay against the butterfly bedspread

held your palms to the swell of my hips in blue jeans,

complained about never being a muse.


Years later, I found the picture I drew of you in my old notes.

I made your inky ringlets too long, lips too full.

You grabbed my hand after seeing the sketch,

Write, “Inez looks just like this.”

The letters bled onto the next page.



Marisa Silva-Dunbar’s work has been published in Spider Mirror Journal, Mojave He[art] Review, Anti-Heroin Chic Magazine, Poetry WTF?!, Better than Starbucks Magazine, Redheaded Stepchild, Words Dance Magazine and Gargoyle Magazine. She graduated from the University of East Anglia with her MA in poetry, and has been shortlisted twice for the Eyewear Publishing Fortnight Poetry Prize. She has work forthcoming in Awkward Mermaid, Mojave He[art] Review, Sixfold, Midnight-lane Boutique, and The Same

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