Reel by Dan Albergotti

Let’s dance with history’s heavy corpse tonight.
Let’s jig, amble, hustle, bump, grind, and shake
the dust off death’s grand mantelpiece. Let’s make
this ballroom glisten with misery and light.
Let’s raise that fetid thing and hold it tight,
dance cheek-to-cheek and breathe it in. Let’s take
photos, shoot a film, waltz the past awake
in show-time flicker. Let’s do this thing right.
See there—the Huns are thundering down the slope
on horseback, Spanish priests enforce their creed.
There’s the Klan’s burning cross, the lynch mob’s rope
(this dance floor’s got an endless loop to feed),
that man’s head bursting like a cantaloupe,
his wife’s vain stretch to gather every seed.
Dan Albergotti is the author of The Boatloads (BOA Editions, 2008) and The Use of the World (Unicorn Press, 2013). A new collection, Millennial Teeth, won the Crab Orchard Series in Poetry’s Open Competition and will be published by Southern Illinois University Press in the fall of 2014. His poems have appeared in The Cincinnati Review, Five Points, The Southern Review, The Virginia Quarterly Review, and Pushcart Prize XXXIII. A graduate of the MFA program at UNC Greensboro and former poetry editor of The Greensboro Review, Albergotti currently teaches creative writing and literature courses and edits the online journal Waccamaw at Coastal Carolina University.