Wednesday, July 2, 2008

draft draft draft - battered tiptoe poem

The Ugliest Feet In The World belong
(it is said) to ballet dancers. It makes
so much sense, that their exquisite grace
should have such a cost. I hear that they wrap them
up in gauze, from bruised heels to broken, battered toes,
scarlet soaking through and they just keep dancing,
keep dancing, keep bleeding for the dance.

My feet are bleeding and it's
all your fault. Or that's what I tell myself when
I will not accept that the dancers can quit
whenever they want. But tell me, what happens
when you can't want to stop? When nothing has ever
existed but the dance? Some part of me knew
that when you and I stepped in front of the mirrors
and stretched out our limbs that we would be faced
with a thousand of Us, staring back, demanding answers
with their asking eyes, wondering why
I haven't quit dancing for you yet.

I say I am dancing because I cannot stop; because
since the moment I turned my face toward you there has been
nothing but the dance and my tiptoes are joyful martyrs
and my heels are kamikaze pilots with tears of ecstasy
waltzing down their cheeks and they will not stop dancing and praying,
spinning like dervishes on the verge of divine bliss. Because
you are divine like a golden Grecian god and I have shed
enough tears for us both, because since the Magdalene's first
two-steps it has been the woman's burden to sacrifice
unrequited salt. I keep dancing because the thousand couples
in the mirrors are crying like they know it's a suicide mission
and as soon as we step back from the glass they will all disappear;
because my bandages are blackening; because my shoes
are cups that overflow; and I am dancing because
I cannot stop because despite
all of this
the dance
is sublime.

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