Summer night, one short of solstice (a poem)

Summer night, one short of solstice

Monuments lit from within, without, above
reflect on the sweat drip on my sternum

while I dance in bare feet on memorial steps
surrounded by accents and tongues

My body is a wet fire on this night
a night to take advantage of plaza music,
a night to be taken advantage of

for though I don't want him to hold my sweaty hand
I still want him to lead the dance.

The obelisk frames the silhouettes
of lovers, visitors, children --
a calm throng chastened by the hot breeze,
cool only to pre-baked skin

The city relaxes into native southern languor
but not me

I can't capture the lovers' silhouettes
solitary against the limestone
universal in their pose

Tonight I dance with Lincoln
sprawl at the base of the obelisk
eavesdrop on languages I have yet to learn
all to feel significant
and noticed
and wanted

yet I remain undercover
against my will.