Dancing

I slide the key into the music box
 Twist-tick-click
 Twist-tick-click
 
 Tighter tighter
 Spiraling into the silent music
 Twist-tick-click
 Twist-tick-click
 Enough.
 A held breath
 Painted porcelain faces
 Muscles tense
 Poised
 I release the key—
 Plink
 Plunk
 Memory pirouettes out
 a pas de deux with the wheeze
 and drone of your oxygen
 tank. I remember soft leather
 soles, shush-gliding through
 sawdust. Your hand rasping
 sandpaper, wearing away
 rough edges. Your voice
 Rattles,
 Spirals down,
 Stops.
 I scramble for the key.