New World choreography
Your body uncurls in fire this autumn Paris.
Rises into smoke and tree. Ashes
dance a Bach aria in the wind,
drifting toward the river, toward Sergei
and the bare center that remains as you.
The squat stones of your children
the cortege and horses that drew you
are silent. Humbled by your absence.
Still, the baritone sings in questa tomba oscura,
and you bend easily within the flames.
Your bare feet veiled in purple. The scarf
roped twice around your throat loosening.
Time enough to dance another dance in air.
The horses you love dance outside
an impatient snow dance of hooves.
From the hotel window gray-barked
Leningrad stares back: bridges of bone,
soil clinging to peasants, all that stilled
and gave birth cause for blood. Your pen
draws ink from a vein and gives flesh
to paper. As your hand fumbles the rope,
you remember those nights with no shared
language, how you spoke of your love,
how she danced free of autumn. The horses
wait for your gentle hand. One shakes its mane.
An old dawn shudders into flame.
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FRiGG: A Magazine of Fiction and Poetry | Issue 54 | Fall/Winter 2019