No, I Do Not Tango by Tania Hershman

Don’t call for me there, I have stepped

off that dance floor, and I am

 

relieved. Every part of me

is mine, no hand on my shoulder, arm

 

around my waist, no waiting

for an invitation. A hundred years ago

 

they would have called me  –  with those

two million others – surplus, extra. Elizabeth

 

the First caused similar confusion. No mate,

no children. Virgin Queen, they also named her

 

Mother of the Nation. Also: Prince. You

can call me anything you like. I know my name.

 

Tania Hershman's debut poetry collection, Terms & Conditions, will be published by Nine Arches Press in July 2017 and her third short story collection, Some Of Us Glow More Than Others, by Unthank Books in May. Tania is also the author of a poetry chapbook, and two short story collections, and co-author of Writing Short Stories: A Writers' & Artists' Companion (Bloomsbury, 2014). Tania is curator of ShortStops, celebrating short story activity across the UK & Ireland. You can find out more on her website. She tweets at @taniahershman.

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