Casca’s Beasts

Jim Johnstone’s most recent book is Dog Ear (Véhicule Press, 2014). He is the editor of...


The dancers move as if pursued
by Casca’s beasts – lions
leaving hesitation marks,
bruises remembered the way
we remember faces
on money, or smoke
that’s inhaled but isn’t free.
Everyone I’ve loved
loved me first. The girls,
on their second pass
in search of drinks, flirt,
bend into range when
we throw bills in the air,
make it rain. A shot, a glass
of champagne and lions
prowl the dancefloor.
The DJ keeps time but it takes
more than music to call me
from the women I touch –
money loves me, and those
who love money love me
too. What was it Casca said?
That ‘dancer’ is a polite
way of saying a girl
hasn’t taken off her clothes,
but will, when the right
song plays, and the beasts
set their jaws for the kill.


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