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Casanova's Bossa Nova

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The dance shoes, seduction
and coercion, owned by male feet,
roam floors that beg for chandeliers.
In search of flat-footed beauty

and a bed, where ever they might be,
the handsome conversation attracts
female followers trading on the smiles
of curves. The next steps are dizzying

and leave dresses dipped and hung over
with a purse and heart opened at
their tops. The wallflowers can't say
when the tango with the rag doll began,

but witnesses toasted a conga line
of would-be brides that transcend
a retirement community in Florida,
each giving up their precious moments

on Earth to fandango's flimflam.

Source: Poetry

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This poem originally appeared in the June 2002 issue of Poetry magazine

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Casanova's Bossa Nova

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  • Rich Murphy has taught at several colleges and universities where he has directed writing programs and has taught creative and academic writing and literature. His full-length poetry collections include Body Politic (2016); Americana (2014), winner of the Prize Americana; Voyeur (2008), winner of the Gival Press Poetry Award; and The Apple in the Monkey Tree (2007). His chapbooks include Great Grandfather (Pudding House Press), Family Secret (Finishing Line Press), Hunting and Pecking (Ahadada Books), Rescue Lines (Right Hand Pointing), Phoems for Mobile Vices (BlazeVox), and Paideia (Aldrich Press). His poems have been published widely in poetry journals in the US and abroad, including Poetry, Grand Street, Rolling Stone, Trespass, New Letters, Pank, Segue, EOAGH, and Big Bridge.
     
    Murphy’s critical essays have been published in The International Journal of the Humanities,Journal of Ecocriticism, Imaginary Syllabus, and Reconfigurations: A Journal for Poetics Poetry/Literature and Culture, among others. He lives in Marblehead, Massachusetts.
     

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