Dust Dancing

by Bob Watts

She shed the house like clothes
she’d worn too long, blemished
with sweat, rubbed to transparency
by knees, elbows, and still

her presence is as palpable
as dust coating the shelves,
spreading a half-quilt on the bed,
filling each slant of sun


with the dip and swirl of cast-off cells,
the lift and turn of skin
that doesn’t live there anymore.


He only has to move
to prompt her choreography
and let her fill his breath.

BOB WATTS is an Assistant Professor in English/Creative Writing at Lehigh University. His first collection, Past Providence (David Robert Books, February 2005), won the 2004 Stanzas Prize from David Robert Books, and his poems have been published in Poetry, The Paris Review, and reDivider, among other journals. He was, with his wife, the fiction writer Stephanie Powell Watts, a founding co-editor of Center: A Journal of the Literary Arts.