I wonder who taught Salome to dance,
To wave her arms, to drop her final veil.
For all her grace, she somehow disenchants.

She’s sinuous and snakelike; no romance
Runs through her lithe limbs; blood red stains each nail.
I wonder who taught Salome to dance.

We noble ladies glance at her askance
While Salome holds transfixed every male.
For all her grace, she somehow disenchants.

Old Herod scrutinizes her and pants.
He shouldn’t get excited; he’s too frail.
I wonder who taught Salome to dance.

She holds the royal lecher in a trance:
We wonder if he’s able to exhale.
For all her grace, she somehow disenchants.

Herodias has waited for her chance.
She watches, cat-like.  Will her daughter fail?
I wonder who taught Salome to dance;
For all her grace, she somehow disenchants.

—Mary-Patrice Woehling