the feeling of sheer joy and
the shining elastic triumph
with the unthinking ease of my body’s movement
hand lightly, lightly, on the barre
my bones muscles tendons joints and – oh
Shining with the stretch and the sweat
celebrating a bacchanalia of its own synergy
each mechanism ticking with precision
each flexing fouetté a measure of my ability
to simply shine.
Each ronde de jambe
a rubber-band of arrogance and ambition
as I tirelessly watched my own reflection
down a myriad corridors of mirrored glamour
as I heartlessly dismissed those who snapped
who were weak.
Now my own physical substance has dried to powder
any attempted plié palpably stiffened in elegance and bend
and my wondrously sinuous rubber-band like fluidity?
Reduced to the dry, impossible hardness
of a not yet cut and blooded toe-shoe.
I find myself saying
(if only inside my head):
To all you new mistresses of ambitious scorn
which is yours by rite
and talent – I know
Binding your hair with rubber-bands
as you bind your feet with bandaids and satin
Be kinder in your snapback and arrogance
To those less gifted than yourselves
Or end like me
crumbling without use or purpose
and with nothing left
but memories of jeté after jeté
and too late an understanding
my mental lack of grace.