Velma Swing Dances
Updated: Sep 23, 2019
Sometimes, she knows, there is never even the chance to press a palm to the half-moon hollow between hip and the soft curve of stomach. Sometimes, a turn around the dance floor is only that, a brief touch, a rock-step that wobbles too far. Potential slips away between the half-breath of their counts. Another time, when both partners had more practice, were fluent in the lines of each other’s bodies, maybe then.
There were no stories for her when she was first learning the tilt of her axis, Velma knows. To learn another’s body without a dominant narrative was to risk burning up.
Now she watches women glance her way, smile directly into her gaze, curl into her orbit. Velma’s tongue sticks to the roof of her mouth. The moments are sugar pushes: a chance for something new that sweeps close, a near touch, before Velma pulls away. She lets herself follow another track, too uncertain she can read a lead correctly.
It seems a distant future now, when the memories that cloud her become debris cast off. The steps she stumbles over, familiar, and time to catch a chance before it spins out of orbit.
Emily Capettini is a queer fiction writer from the Midwest who loves a good ghost story. Her work has appeared most recently in Dream Pop Journal, Passages North, and Permafrost Magazine. Her chapbook, Girl Detectives, is forthcoming from Porkbelly Press. Find out more about her at emilycapettini.com.