Is the abrazo truly the heart and soul of the Tango?
If so, I propose a tribute to those very same arms that both
hug and embrace, caress and comfort.
Arms that have nurtured and cradled
the babies first cry
and the loved-one’s last sigh.
Arms that know what it is like to feel full and empty.
Arms that know how to hold and when to let go.
Longing arms that cling desperately to phantom memories.
Empty arms that hang helpless,
hoping against hope for an imagined love to risk
entering the void and complete the circle.
In these arms,
sinewy and muscular,
honed by life’s betrayals,
we have cradled pain, anguish, joy and grief.
We have spanned the chasm between hope and despair,
self-doubt and invincibility.
We have learned the tenacity of friendship and
the cauterizing pain of abandonment.
We have learned that love alone can
satisfy the hunger of the soul.
These are the arms into which I seek to fold myself when I dance,
sinking deep within the embrace that
gathers up the tattered edges of my frailty and insecurity
and immerses me into a wash of belonging.
For those few moments I grow to believe that I am not alone.