Written by Maya Ertay
Graphic by Mary Claire Jackson.

What now?

He comes in and their eyes meet

Light streams, the beat,

Both are silent but eager.

The softness, the melody: 

Leyli Menal.

So obvious yet hidden,

All those novels of love forbidden.

See them meeting, 

See them dancing.

The ballroom of lonely souls

Wandering around 

Just to let their weak selves meet;

Two colors becoming one,

Making a new one.

And their lives cross,

And their story


Like how we used to.


A phenomenal night that was,

Our wedding:

The colors, the crowd, the joy;

The charm. Was it all a ploy?


Where are you now?

The ballroom.

I’m at the ballroom.

Come on, you have to meet somehow.

But how?

The hands

And the band;

Too cliche?

Every piece is now a cliche.

Detach yourself Simon,

Detach yourself from those destinies. 

Meeting. Tomorrow. Draft. Blank.

Focus, focus, focus.

The ballroom.


The floor of love. 

Love of loneliness.

Back to loneliness. 

What brings you to the dance floor?

Silly question.

No time to waste;

Find the answer that your reader wants.

Shut up Dave shut up.

Not in here too

Enough of your crap in the meetings.

The panic attack.

Tuesday after work;

The tightness of the tie, 

The coldness of the wall,




No no. 

Not a cliche.

Sadness is always a cliche.

A happy loneliness this should be,

And happiness should bring it.

Happiness brings happiness.

Silent enjoyment of the sounds,

The ambiance and the company,

Cherishing it internally.

Sharp movements of the eyes,

Not his eyes but hers;

No clichés.

She approaches.

That smile of his.

And yes.

You don’t need to talk

To communicate.

The eyes.

“All I need is your eyes now.”

Does she still need my eyes?

Back to the ballroom.

I’m at the ballroom.

The eyes communicate,

What now?

How do I initiate

The rhythm.

I feel it,

They feel it.

The smell that comes first,

The shaking of the voice,

The fading of the sounds,

All but 

Leyli Menal.

It has to be this way Dave,

It’s not a cliche

As long as it is sincere;

Human is always sincere.

I first smelled her, 

The touch then became compelling.

You don’t need to know this. 

My ballroom is this

My people are them

And not even mine;

This is their experience now.


The smile.

The silent sounds of the smile.

I only wanted the experience.

All I wanted was to reflect




You are only a piece of paper Dave.



Just money.

Yet my work,

It is a world

Full of possibilities.

A world full of senses,

Of all my senses


Of people’s senses.

I need to come to my senses.

No meetings. 

Just the dance.

The Ballroom Dance.

No words needed. 

“A dance?”

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