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"Dancing with a Stranger" • Sam Smith & Normani (by Michael Russell)

there’s nothing like dancing underground 

in the sour swelter of a summer blackout

throat pressed by heat     sweat glassed 

in the spark of a flameless tealight 

the quiet’s everywhere     except my earbuds     

pulsing the words     alone tonight     

do me a favour & burn the endless white 

fencing your fingertips

warp this false reality into a future 

where i can drape the walls in thunder & lightning     

blaze the concrete with melancholic pop 

Frankenstein my Instagram with my closest friends 

i want to whisk us to where we clink our glasses     

cheer     dance     sing      we’re alive     we are a

-live     my dead father pixel burned into a screen 

lagged-out & 

watching us     

flail our bodies like a 

bunch of life-sick 


Michael Russell (he/they) is the queer, mad mother monster behind two chapbooks, gallery of heartache (forthcoming from 845 Press) and Grindr Opera (Frog Hollow Press). They are the coauthor of chapbook Split Jawed with Elena Bentley (forthcoming from Collusion Books). He has a heart full of rainbows, unicorns and chocolate chip pancakes and they want the best for you. Insta: @michael.russell.poet 


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