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Digital Subscriptions > Boston Review > Allies (Fall 2019) > TRANSLATION

TRANSLATION

(from The Freezer Door)

I’M PRETTY SURE there’s nothing as sexual for me as walking shirtless in the hot sun toward the pounding bass of a sound system telling me I’m about to dance. The vocal in the song says “Just like 1994”, which it’s not, not at all, but maybe when I get home I’ll look up this song that proves nostalgia now zooms in right to the time of my formation—the nostalgia of the early-’90s was all about the ’70s, but now we have both and neither one is true, as nostalgia can never be, but anyway I’m dancing, that’s the important part. I’m dancing outside in the blazing sun, shoes and socks and shirt off, sweat dripping down my face underneath the sunglasses and hat that are protecting my eyes from too much light. I’m dancing down at the bottom of the hill, right by the sound system, but only about four other people are dancing with me.

It’s strange how rave culture might be the only place where I pass unintentionally—what I’m passing as I’m not sure but I guess someone who might have come here on purpose. And eventually there’s some shirtless guy who looks like a fag, dancing with a blowup toy and a lot of the guys here look like fags until you watch them interact, but this guy’s moves are too overtly campy and sexual to be straight and then he’s dancing with me, I think, I think he’s dancing with me—and, yes, maybe I’ve passed the point where I should be dancing this hard, but the good thing about the grass is I can just fall, over and over and it doesn’t hurt, roll around but now I’m jumping in the air, twirling around until he’s the one who’s tired I hold out my arms for a hug we hug goodbye it feels so good all that sweat like a real hug I want to see him again.

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About Boston Review

Allies is the first publication of Boston Review's newly inaugurated Arts in Society department. A radical revisioning of the magazine's poetry and fiction, the department unites them—along with cultural criticism and belles lettres—under a project that explores how the arts can speak directly to the most pressing political and civic concerns of our age, from growing inequality to racial and gender regimes, a disempowered electorate, and a collapsing natural world.