Ballet Examination

In this room of light diffused
Planks beaten by plies and tendus
No leeway is given for pretense
In space consecrated.

Hands reach for the barre
No piece of attire to cover misalignment
Any lack in the labors of time.

Soon, toe shoes rub in the rosin
And left are minuscule splinters
Shimmering in the grain.

Breath keeps sheltered
In the powerhouse chamber
Near the heart
While gracile turn out of legs
extends in synchrony.

No false jumps are possible
For we would notice stiff landings,
A dry thump,
Instead, deep plies absorb landings
Muffled into sweet sap spilling
Soft caramel tendons

No sequence improvised
Nor a move accidental
Arms never let to rest
Each finger engaged
In the gaze towards the corner
Dancers envision eternity

And each of them knows what comes next.

Exertion is a secret to most
Feet embrace the wooden floors scathed with love
Buns tightened
Ribbons tucked neatly
A ritual ceremony unquestioned.

The invisible deity that is art
Her little servants nearly out of breath
Won’t show it
They’ll keep going
Personified as dance
Offering disciplined bodies
To rejoice our earthly manifestation.