Safety Dancing for the Recovering Arsonist 

by Brad Rose

I’ve learned to dance, legally, although sometimes fun can really throw you off track. I’ve sorted through gravity, that selfish force that clutches everything closer, as it tears it apart.  Now, I dance only the officially approved, non-gyrational dances, for example, the Pressed Soup, the Unclear Disorder, and the Loyal Remedy. Practicing in front of the mirror, while I’m alone, at home, I swoop and swoon in a thin, low zoom.  My legs look like provocative chopsticks, my arms, a theater of centrifugal force.  There’s something friendly about my convulsive movements, a happy blur of brightness in a stone gray fog.  Of course, no matter how careful you are, there’s no avoiding the second law of human combustion: whenever you dance, strike a match, set the house ablaze.  I love the music of approaching sirens. 

Some people say dance is a language. My dancing speaks for itself.


Brad Rose was born and raised in Los Angeles, and lives in Boston. After many years of thoughtful deliberation, Brad now realizes that the squeaky wheel gets the shaft. Links to his poetry and fiction can be found at
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