“Plie” published in Rosebud Magazine

Plie     (after ten dances choreographed by Martha Graham)

I. Chorale

I danced once, my steps

untrained; I was a poppy

in a field, waving

II. Fragilite

A golden curl framed

in a moment’s candlelight –

the flush on my cheek.

III. Vision of the Apocalypse

Grey skies loomed. The void

insisted. And so we knew

this hold would falter.

IV. Praeludium

I’m telling you now.

Take my advice, be forewarned.

Nothing’s as it seems.

V. Salutation

My dear, my darling,

desperation and delight,

my demise, despair…

VI. Immediate Tragedy

Out of the man’s thigh

the bloody, shattered shank juts,

gnarled at the knee.

VII. Every Soul is a Circus

Pay no attention

to the man in the top hat.

He tempts with treats, hoops…

VII. Salem Shore

All night long she stood.

At first light, his sails unfurled,

ropes cast from the pilings.

IX.  Errand Into the Maze

Dissembler, unroll

your twisting, tangled line. Try

to find your way out.

X. The Eyes of the Goddess

A strand of orchids

in the caves of Ellora –

my supplicant kneels.

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