Emporium, London, 1998

At the Emporium in Kingly Street

A girl in a pleated tartan mini and over the knee socks

Sways to the drum and bass.

Her body moving with abandon to every beat. Drinks


Are poured for patrons at the bar

And bouncers with earpieces keep watch

While the girl’s arms move in

semaphore formations. And, sweating


Like she’s just run the Flora,

Like she just finished a spin class, took a hit

Of “e”, standing fully clothed in a Finnish sauna in

August on the east coast of the US.


She was young, thin, beautiful, and blonde.

Definitely had a high opinion of herself

Choosing that outfit. And she danced

Like the music was dictating


Her every move. With the hip rolls

And gyrations following the bass

Where it sent her, to a sweaty

Dance floor in another world. We were all watching—


The wallflowers on the side,

The city boys, the bride to be on

Her hen night, the busboys, the shot girls. We couldn’t

Look away. We felt the want, the need


To be that free.

To feel as if there was nothing else. That all

Mattered was the beat. Her face was so calm

Still, perfectly serene in timed


Meditation under the lights that were

Her Bodhi tree,

Her enlightenment only a few measures away

Even if the song changed


You wouldn’t notice any difference

In her centeredness, though you would be

Searching for some slight crack.

We all want to be her,


Wearing that skirt,

Moving so easily, not giving a shit,

Eyes closed to the world,

Sweating out our fear.



*for the best effect read while listening to “Horny” by Mousse T vs Hot ‘n’ Juicy


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