I can sweat
more than you can.
I can dance
through more pain
than you will ever know.
by the end of the night
every woman
in the first ten rows
will want to sleep with me.
and for this
my feet are slashed
by a drunken mob
of gypsy guitars
because I stroke
the silk smooth thighs
of their sisters
before a swooning crowd.
in this bloodbath
of sangria and swirling sequins
I taste my father's proud pathetic pain.
but I will never die.
I will burn holes
through this stage.
I will make you believe
that I am ready to pass out
before launching into
another burst of dance.
and after thirty seconds
when your lily white hands
are tired of clapping
I will stare
at an invisible spot
six feet above you
and take

Paul David Mena
Boston, MA
25 November, 1996

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