Last Dance

R. Zamora Linmark

"So sad" begins Justin's brief
note "Donna Summer passed away
this morning” followed by ellipses
what else is there to say
other than I’m here standing by
the window processing recovered
memories in lieu of loss morning
sun on my face ghetto and
glamour twenty-two stories
beneath my feet it makes me sad
and sick to say farewell to another
diva whose disco tracks made my
first years in America supra-
bearable Donna was my lei greeter
darling I did not only assimilate
or anthropologically speaking
acculturate I flipped my feathered
hair flaunted my fresh-off-the-
plane attitude in Famolare
platforms polyester long-sleeve
shirts denim bellbottoms
I oohed and aahed twenty-two
times baby throughout "Love
to Love You, Baby" on the dance
floor rolled my eyes back to Avila
while imaginary lovers guided me
out of fear and longing for a home
no longer there disco and Donna
had taken over as my new world
I felt safe and sexy and was
myself when I wasn’t imagining
grooving with my secret crush
to “Dim All the Lights” my hands
on his waist his hands on my shoulders
enough distance between us to watch
the biting of our lips and whisper
to each other the most beautiful
word in the disco language “babe”

then there was that afternoon in
'79 Jeff choreographed a “Bad
Girls” number to be performed
on a stonewall by me Julie
my sister Jing as three die-hard
hookers on Hotel Street selling love
at half-off because it was cheaper
than sorry how we danced and
role-played deep into the night
oh we went on worshipping you
Donna even after word got
around that disco caused cancer
and you turned your back on Adam
and Steve and Eve your number-
one fans of fags and hags we
saluted you then as I and the sun
bow to you now hearing your
voice in my head again singing
“Could It Be Magic?” after all
these years what else could it be
but magic and arias and endless
oohs and aahs of almost-gone
glory here's to your first day
of everness dearly Donna Patron
Diva of Our Unending Last Dance.

R. Zamora Linmark is the author of three collections of poetry, Prime Time Apparitions, The Evolution of a Sigh, and Drive-By Vigils, all from Hanging Loose Press. He also published two novels,Rolling the R's, which he'd adapted for the stage, and Leche. The poems that appear in this issue are from his next collection tentatively titled et al.