Dance With Who You Came With

Mamma said you gotta dance with who you came with. She got me a tux, going to the tailor saying, “Make my boy look sharp, Mr. Tucker!” She got me a corsage—“For your lady friend.” She winked when she said that ,playing mother and father yet again.

I took the keys to the rusted car, saying I’d pick my date up on the way. She called after me, “Take pictures for me.” I said I would but I never brought the camera.

The open road on the way to the party house was quiet. The radio reception was fuzzy. All there was was white noise, soft breathing, and clammy anxiousness.

Now I’m here, sipping flat ginger ale, watching bedazzled princess gowns and hand-me-down dress pants dance close, bristle against each other, rotate slow like the hands of a clock.

Mamma said you gotta dance with who you came with—and I am.

(Written: 2009)

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I'm Melissa. That's it. That's all.

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