Shy Boy

By Greg Sellers Greg Sellers
I wait for my shadow to forget me,
to take that one phantom step that I keep
from taking. I wait for the simple flash
of a dancer's spat upon this one moon
of stage-light, the mind's lonely oval
illuminated on the surface of some
windless pond or slew. And the old soft-shoe
practices to get it right, husha-husha-hush
in its constant audition of sawdust.
Even this choreography of useless
wishing is not enough to keep tonight
from becoming nothing more than some floor's
forgotten routine where faded, numbered
dance-steps silently waltz themselves away.
The orchestra's now ready to Fauré
into the evening's last song while I try
to convince myself to cross this room
for the first time all night and rinse
what's left in some débutante's silver
sequined waterfall, hope keeling hopelessly
ever closer to the edge. Across the floor
other couples sashay on. A tin flask empties
itself from asking, the shadow's last chance
now wasted in some chandelier's dim lust.

Source: Poetry (November 2001).


This poem originally appeared in the November 2001 issue of Poetry magazine

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November 2001
 Greg  Sellers


Greg Sellers attended Louisiana State University and earned his MFA at Arizona State University and his MLIS from the University of Alabama. The recipient of a Ruth Lilly Poetry Fellowship, a Mississippi Literary Arts Fellowship, and a Pushcart nomination, Sellers currently works as the collection management librarian at the Mississippi Library Commission in Jackson, Mississippi.

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Poem Categorization

SUBJECT Arts & Sciences, Relationships, Living, Disappointment & Failure, Love, Theater & Dance, Unrequited Love, Realistic & Complicated

POET’S REGION U.S., Southern

Poetic Terms Imagery, Free Verse, Metaphor

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