Belly Dancer, 2003

Belly dancer, belly dancer—

What do you want to hear?

Want me to tell you that I love you—

and whisper in your ear?

I don’t care where you are from.

Belly dancer, belly dance,

and kiss the mask.

Pretend I’m dumb.

This is what we do for fun.


There’s a cotton veil around your eyes.

All you see is my outline.

How much do you have to hide?

Back and forth,

this cobra flute,

has me hypnotized.


Indian lace hangs from your dress;

these other cobra’s sway.

Crawl on your belly, belly dancer.

You be the snake today.


Belly dancer, belly dancer,

run away with me.

I’ll be a gentleman,


Follow me and see.


Belly dancer, cobra flute,

run away with me.
Let me be your new enchanter,

cause your head to sway.


You don’t hear; the song still plays.

Men around you watch.

I imagine between, between your eyes,

a tiny blood red dot.


Belly dancer, belly dancer,

follow me into the light.

I could be a grand romancer,

more than just a snake enchanter,

follow me and see.

Think as I want you to and be,

everything I want to see—

someone to run away with me.


Belly dancer, belly dancer,

follow me into the light.

My silly dreams come true,

and you’ll be there with me.

Believe in me and see.


A snake bobs in the corner, too,

swaying with the song.

Men throw money at her feet;

the dancer dances on.

Their faces follow hers,

as snakes follow the flutes.

Come with me, you belly dancer.
I can show you truth.

Belly dancer, belly dancer,

come with me, I beg you, please;

remove my fears,

relieve all my anxiety.

Become everything I’ve dreamed.


She keeps dancing.

I keep staring.

No money, she won’t dance with me.

I have a smoke,

hit it once, and smirk.

The cigarette tastes like her.


Belly dancer, belly dancer,

on stage for all to see.

A cigarette tastes like you.

Why not leave this dirty place—

and come with me to Xanadu?

I’ll show you what you want to see.

Please believe in me.


Bought her a drink, she spoke at last.

There’s too much smoke in here,

and you’ve got too much class,
for a place like this.

Stop what? You’re wonderful.

Everything I want surpassed.


The bartender interrupts,

clicks his feet, takes my money,
and then he smiles.

The belly dancer seemed beguiled.

You like to see the strangers watch.

I’ll be a stranger too.

That’s all I can afford to be.

The band begins another song.

The belly dancer dances on.

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