The Gold Ballroom

Dorothea Lasky

A dress that is high in the neck

Is best to see yourself in

I have come here from far away

To see what time could do to me

Everywhere there is the woman

Slouched over her drink

In the season of despair

As it’s always nighttime here

Or should I say, there’s always a becoming

I lay my life in front of you without cause

And you take stock of it

Deem it not worthy

I was always the right person

To medicate danger

I take out my little metal purse

So many vials in exactitude

So many moments

Where the past was left waiting

I take out my tiny succulent angels

If you won’t have me

Will you at least try them

They’ve been in their jars

For all eternity

Surely something could come out of it

And if not, let’s glide across this carpet

You and I, so gracefully

What you don’t know in story

I’ll give to you in action

I take out my tiny new beginning

And ask you to think again

Maybe this time will be different

I glide you across the carpet

That is pink and gold

And you must admit

The swirl of time

Provides us an opening

You take stock of my life

And deem it wholly acceptable

I take out my tiny book

And read you these words

And even you must admit

There was always something there

There was always something there

That was waiting

Dorothea Lasky is the author of several books of poetry and prose, including The Shining and Animal.
Originally published:
December 13, 2023


Louise Glück’s Late Style

The fabular turn in the poet’s last three books
Teju Cole

The Critic as Friend

The challenge of reading generously
Merve Emre

Rachel Cusk

The novelist on the “feminine non-state of non-being”
Merve Emre

You Might Also Like

Poem of the Week

The Pill

Sarah Wolfson


New perspectives, enduring writing. Join a conversation 200 years in the making. Subscribe to our print journal and receive four beautiful issues per year.