from The Balloonists

by Eula Biss

In the subway I see a couple dancing salsa for money. He is spinning her in a red blur. I worry about how close her head is coming to the wall, but she is loose and unconcerned. Her hair is flying and her skirt is coming up. She pays no attention. He stops spinning her and I am amazed at how close they dance, how her feet seem attached to his at the toes. His face is ecstatic, sweat-beaded, eyes turned upwards. He must be in love. But there is something strange about the woman, I realize, something strange about the way she’s moving. They turn and I see that her face is plastic, her arms are tied around his neck, her feet are attached to his at the toes, her legs are foam. He controls her movements with his hands inside her hips. His eyes are closed.

-from The Balloonists, Hanging Loose Press (2002)