Pauline and Elissa still don't speak
since that problem with the girl
and even though now
we all live in the same town
no one has seen her in months. But
Elissa remembers seeing Pauline
in the grocery store
this summer
and Pauline said she was dancing in a bar
and they went their separate ways.

On election day, i went to the bar Elissa named -
it was quiet. No one was dancing.
Two butch women were playing pool
and the bartender predicted the worst from the election
and the television droned on. I got a drink
for nerve, for hope, for Wildman who probably wanted one
but couldn't. And i asked.
As i asked, i tried to imagine her dancing
in a bar
i saw her dancing in her room, the corners and edges made soft
by laundry and pillows and papers and books
candles and ashtrays and coffee mugs, Pauline dancing
by the mirror, Pauline's cowgirl calendar on the wall, her cigarette smell,
in, close.
I can't put her on a stage. Not without a microphone,
her nervously clutched pages.
I can't say what color her hair is now, how long, whether she's thinner
or heavier. And i want the bartender to believe me. She wants to believe me.
She has blue eyes, i say.

I gave my number to the girl who came out of the back,
Pauline's roommate. She promised it would get to her. I left, nearly giddy.

And so.
We don't know who our president will be. These things can take time. I don't care.
But Pauline - i thought i was so near!
Why don't you call?