The Ballerina, 132

She wears fun pants
and thinks Mozart in her head,
two-steps before the mirror
like her twelve year old self did.

Hiding behind the closed door
of her bedroom, her awkward
new body, unfailingly changed,
imperfections boarded

up in that bedroom. In a way,
she still hides, but my eyes
are not considered intruders,
cause she knows I will smile.

She thinks Mozart and
so struts as the ballerina,
the outcast too smart
to worry about finesse

or social graces, the crutches
others are crossed to carry.
Sure, in social circles, she can
play the roles, pretend to be

a rich girl, suave debutant
who floats in across the portal
causing heads and necks to twist,
eyes to pop out of their skulls.

She dances before the mirror,
a silly introverted disco
accompanied by a music
the world won’t hear, sways

back and forth on one leg,
then the other, then a turn
to reveal her grinning backside,
which she wildly churns

before my impulsive insides,
that can’t help laughing
at that strange frivolity
which love crafts.

Like her twelve year old self,
she cowers sometimes,
slides sideways and laments
where she juts and turns. I’m

a liar, or blind, or convinced
by my love, seeing something
she swears is not there,
while she asks her spring

self again: Why are you
so round, so fat, so stupid
to think anyone worth
loving could love this kid?

Hiding behind the closed door
of her habits, of her locked
out bedroom mind, behind
the snickers and mocking

grins that slid down the noses
of anorexic insecure beauties
now on their downswing,
pregnant, fat and married

to old dumb jocks who drink
too much and still sleep
with teen nubile queens,
while a baby is put to sleep.

In her bedroom, her awkward
confusion, content with the joys
in her life, glad to not have peaked
with the other girls, enjoying

a life still undetermined, still
climbing, frustrated with arms
that won’t reach the biggest
dreams, that want all the charms

of life concurrently, fingers
that refuse to choose one thing
or the other, wanting to dance,
draw, construct, study and sing.

Daily life, always changing
against the wishes of the skeptic
mind that longs for a scintilla
of predictable concrete, a brick

to lay for a cornerstone, some
mortar on which to jump
off from this life, wake
at least one morning, plump

with ideas and blueprints,
a plan. For just an hour,
not to have to set a fire
and build a brand new tower.

Her imperfections are bored,
tired of poking their heads
out only to be ignored
by the ones who love her

unconditionally, who laugh
at the dance she is dancing,
who hear the music
rising from the romance

she cultivates with the swing
of her hips, the flipping
of hands and feet,
her thoughtless striptease.

Up in that bedroom, in a way
she embraces the little girl
that came before, who loved
daddy, puppy and the world,

who cared only that her body
would lift her from the sheets
and downstairs, into the yard
and out along the streets

to school to play with friends
and to someday escape
whatever confines children
believe the world makes.

She still hides, but my eyes
are blessed with a magic
to see through the disguises,
smoke and mirrors, to detect

the pinch of a misfit
who finds this life too funny
to not snicker, and despite
her best attempts, honey

nudges that bashful child
forward, to the lip of the stage
to tell her joke and break
out in a rage of laughter.

The giggles, welcomed intruders
who well up and overflow
the gates she has created,
the mythologies of slow,

fat, awkward, ugly, just
one of the boys. She is not
just laughing, but shining
through like the sun, hot

to the touch, to the point
that while dancing, all the while
she hopes I am watching,
and knows I will smile.



A day is not done, until it's filled with words.

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