Thursday, March 18, 2010

Ode à la jalouse

What is the point in apologizing
to your lover by taking her to a ballet?
Or taking her to a dingy street in
downtown New York to see the black kids krump?
What difference does it make to lie and say you were wrong,
to amague ballet d’action, and that you’ll do better next time.

What point for dancing is there, then?
The complex techniques and movements—
movements like dark chocolate,
smooth and irresistible against your tongue.
And what good is dinner to describe
how sorry you are, a cake walk—silver forks
aligning themselves to stab into her aching heart.

And what for pas de deux,
gliding toward the etoile,
before your lover comes in to stretch.
Fouette en tournant on Broadway,
sold out girls who beg for your love flashing on the marquee.

What is the point to remember your
combination made for you?
From your legs come the quick,
terse movements. You know when to keep her
and when to throw her away.
With your strong arms you cling to the barre,
knowing there are ladies watching and
wanting your every move. They know they shouldn’t.

Backstage, you always pique on the others.
Your movements not for quiet girls, only for
the ones who beg for your attention.
You remind me that, Dancing means you can
leave it all on stage. All your wrongdoings, you say,
are gone. I still remember how you led her onto
the floor while leading her on,
smiling inside at your ability to be so graceful in both.

Shows have passed, what is the point of
apologizing to your “lover?” The talented one,
why would you want to break her down on and
off stage? My feet, you tell me are young and callused.
Like my heart. What now? Dancing to impress you
and make New York alive. Pirouette en pointe.
What if I chose to unlace my shoes?

[This is a poem for my creative writing class.]

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