Dancing Shoes

Dancing Shoes

A Poem by Marie Anzalone


My friend says,

I am not ready to die;

or maybe I am afraid 

that dying might actually

feel like forgetting 

what laughter tasted like. 

I fear losing her, them.

us. ME. I do not yet want

to know, what is found

on the other side of some

locked doors. But isn’t wanting

to enter new doors, what

also keeps us young? I ask-


We are no innocents. We both

have encountered ourselves,

more than once, in one-night

stands with suicide and found

the strength, somehow,

every time, to leave that

relationship; to start over.

Alone. Depression

is a cancer of the soul; 

Cancer has the soul 

of depression. 

Maybe we understand 

each other

more than we thought.



I say, maybe you will feel

less lonely, if I pretend to also die,

in some manner, now.

But as you know, pretending

can almost be

the same thing as doing.

You can be worker who

hates his job but shows up

for the paycheck; the woman

for whom sex with her man, hurts-

but she still accepts it

and calls it, “love.”

Thus, I looked too deeply

into some things that needed

to be recycled and remade.


Like them, I was enamored

of the between places where

things feel equal parts alien and

equal parts as familiar

as a birthright. I passed by

the fresh water and drank

of the offered cup of dust.

I asked a few of the angels, 

“What does one wear,

to die and then come back

to life? My mother is a genius of

fashion, but perhaps did not

know some concepts.”



An archangel responded:

In your closet, you have

that dress; the one that

is equally appropriate for

both the funeral and wedding.

Your friend should wear

his most flattering suit;

you, that dress. Do not forget

your dancing shoes. The best

parties are where Heaven

does the catering and

the devil is in charge

of the entertainment.


So, I implored of my friend:

“Come, let’s at least walk.

A while. We can never know

what words will remain

spraypainted on city

walls, about us. 

We will walk and walk, and stop

only when we are both tired.

There is this place I know,

where we can ask to dance

with angels. And I like to walk

behind you- I like the way

that suit fits your shoulders. 

Maybe there is a way, yet;

to overcome all of this.

We are Here.

We always have Now.

And the sun is shining. Today.”


© 2018 Marie Anzalone

Author's Note

Marie Anzalone
Writen for an upcoming poetry contest in Guatemala; translated form my original written in Spanish. Inspired by a recent conversation with a friend who is battling cancer.

My Review

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This is a very powerful write, i loved it all. esp love the ending with hope it shows. good luck in my competition and thankyou for this well written piece. I mean it.

Posted 3 Months Ago

Wow. The description tied this poem into thoughts beautifully as it explains a lot of the feelings in this. I'm sure that suicide has looked like an attractive option at times. It sounds like you are a genuine friend to them.

Posted 9 Months Ago

2 of 2 people found this review constructive.

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2 Reviews
Added on February 2, 2018
Last Updated on February 4, 2018


Marie Anzalone
Marie Anzalone

Xela, Quetzaltenango, Guatemala

Bilingual poet, essayist, novelist, and technical writer working in Central America. "A poet's work is to name the unnameable, to point at frauds, to take sides, start arguments, shape the world, .. more..