By Josh Lefkowitz


At the dance show the dancer
bends herself back over a chair
and in another moment
some other girl throws
her arm out into the air
and I’m seated in the back row
wondering if there’s a story there
or if it’s just meant to be nothing
more than a series of separate
individual movements, not tied
to the ones that come before or after,
not needing to abide
by the necessary constraints of narrative.
Me, I’m always

                             seeking narrative.
If I leave her – or another her –
then there must be some reason
I can’t yet see but will someday,
but I’m thinking that the dancers
feel some other way, and that they’d say
that sometimes things just happen
and the question isn’t why,
and to think that there’s a reason
is like thinking God is watching in the sky
when in fact there’s nothing there,
that this is all we’ve got:
an arm out in the air, a body on a chair,
the answer’s in the question, dear: why not?


Josh Lefkowitz won the 2013 Wergle Flomp Humor Poetry Prize, an Avery Hopwood Award for Poetry at the University of Michigan, and was a finalist for the 2014 Brooklyn Non-Fiction Prize. His poems and essays have been published at Court Green, The Rumpus, The Huffington Post, Conduit, The Hairpin, Coldfront, Poor Claudia, Open Letters Monthly, TheThePoetry, and many other places. He has also recorded humorous essays for NPR's All Things Considered and BBC's Americana.    

© 2015