Mr. B’s Women

1 May 2015

“Just between us, she could have been great”
– George Balanchine

I was a little boy with his eye
in the keyhole, training: Vaganova, Karsavina, Gerdt
pas de trois pink ribbon battement
each one a different measure of sound
unraveling movement of a new world logic.

The body is an instrument I use
what they are—like to go under
the skirt slight sniff of perfume:
we do not train the pussy
cat—she teaches us gestures

in time and we test and taste;
a pinch of salt, a bit of sugar
culinary complements:
Q: Wonderful borscht
how do you do it?

A: I feed from the acid in her thigh
a clean line moving
forward somehow
elegant plié a swung hip
split

second compressed
into one tiny capsule: little lover, adventuress
long-limbed colt, firebird—a variety of bodies
cut free. The real world is not here. It is
a conduit of force, weightlessly musing

on his shoulder; chest high, back straight
feet arched. We do not see what we do not
see: obsessive tendus five-minute
Coca-Cola developé musical tuning in the pit

but a raised curtain: Mr. B
trapped in the wings of my own demonic furor
let loose upon the harshest critics: at first
‘ah, it’s wonderful’ and then
‘oh, I don’t …

And then it is over. And no more.

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