The Bashful Young Swain at the Ogre's Cotillion

by Robert Borski

The lights from the mirrored ball
are emboldening,
but when he first sees her
across the floor,
gnawing on the remains of her
third or fourth
toe mangler, something flits
through his bowels
like a black spark, and he
decides to post-
pone their gavotte for yet
another year.

Robert Borski has written two books about Gene Wolfe and lives in Stevens Point, Wisconsin. His poetry has appeared in Strange Horizons, Star*Line, Talebones, and The Magazine of Speculative Poetry.

When asked what the word "cherry" immediately made him think of, he replied, "the word 'cherry' has several different poetic associations for me, reminding me not only of every badly-written haiku I read in high school, but also, because it's the thick of winter here and I am aging rapidly, of the second poem in A. E. Housman's 'A Shropshire Lad', which ends, after a tallying of the years left to the poet, with: 'About the woodlands I will go/To see the cherry hung with snow.'"

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