The dancer said

I wish I had trained in psychotherapy

my feet hurt, they are broken and bent now

it will be a few years yet, but soon I shall not

be able to dance

they will label me past my prime

take away lead roles for younger

tauter, less tarnished versions of me

who do not yet know

the price they shall pay

for their brief freedom

inhabiting the burning stage

I wonder sometimes

was it the applause? That hot

fever in the air, a strange electric impulse

driving us to feel alive? Was it that?

Compelling me to break myself more

until instead of a woman I became

a horse, standing on hind legs for

all to gawk and stare at

the indignity of my blindness

to the spectacle

I undid myself in shards like

a glass breaking in slow motion

never once thinking

of a life beyond the moment

caught in a leap

suspended in air.

The psychotherapist watched the dancer

admiring the hours it must have taken to hone

shape, angles, the extension of limbs

muscles, fizzure, perfection enshrined in skin

she contemplated her own wasting body

lost almost to any connection

sat in unnatural position, hour after hour

once a child, able to swing at will from

tall trees, feeling the catch and play of

strong arms and legs, kicking out in ether

how dandelion seeds flew weightless

young trees quickened in a year, surprising

in their raw knuckles insistence on thriving

she remembered being touched as if she were

made of something worth cherishing

how her back would arch like an instrument

begging to be strummed

the longing she still possessed

to hold a woman in her arms

and dance until they both ached

with laughter, with fatigue, with want

for the after play, found beneath

apology, where women keep their

nectar, precious and deep.

Somehow the two

like split avocado seed

pushes through wet earth

in two parallel entreaties

came together as ground beckons

lightning and skies burn with molten

need for tierra, striking until found

that source within cumulus clouds and

core both, where dancer and thinker

find solace

in the worn boards

of life, warm from walking

in search

of that we

have inside

all along

17 Replies to “Duality”

  1. Does the world break us, wear us down
    Or do we break ourselves against the world
    Expend ourselves fleeing
    Some trauma, real or feared
    Or in pursuit of dreams
    Of knowledge
    Of membership and acceptance
    And what if we see in all that
    Of another
    Our mirror image
    The negative of our self-photo
    And join

  2. We are birds of a feather. BTW on a totally unrelated note, just started watching Last Tango In Halifax, UK show, so brilliant, can’t believe I’m so slow on the uptake, where have I been all my life? πŸ˜‰

  3. and he’s got the right moves for sure in his words – oh how I miss him

  4. Well asked … I think we are broken by the world but we are simultaneously broken by ourselves and the trick is finding something human and lovely within those breaks xo

  5. Thank you so much dearest Annette xo your support of these silly words really means the world to me

  6. Thank you dearling I tried not to get too dark with this one! xo

  7. I was glad in Last Tango in Halifax that they focused as part of the story on a lesbian woman, although there were some errors in the writing the relationship between the two older characters especially really moved me. Paris you can leave πŸ˜‰

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