CHURNING BALLERINA ❋ Rebecca Dawe
Why do I keep telling myself this story of a girl with hair so miraculous people stopped and turned to see its ribbon trail? Who brushed it all day long, her own animal, until one day, it all fell out. In the mirror she looks close at her plucked-chicken scalp.
The bird-boned, beaten feet of ballerinas are a reminder of the working towards grace. I am working towards grace. You tell me I’m not saved I have to tell you I’m not spent.
There is a paradise demanding my attention, so why do I thrash in the churning gut of a noisy civilization? When I am locked in the bathroom it is quiet but I lose all sense of the abundance of the world. I wonder what would happen if I were to smash all faces: bathroom mirrors, clocks.
When I decided I wanted to quit dance at a young age, I hid my dance shoes all around the house under couch cushions, in any bottom drawer, once I even buried them in the soil of a potted plant. I dumped canned soup in the toilet to show to my mother like “Look Mom, I threw up”. Now all I remember is the feeling of the beat just before the dance begins. Like a bird on the brink of flight. Or edging. Or a woman in the black time before a dream.
You undo the ribbons of these silkened ballerina shoes and find such contortion. It’s like when I say “pink eye” it sounds so lovely but bacteria squirms beneath the language. Damn I love to lift a log to see the bugs beneath it.
But still, I used to watch my lover sleep like I was watching a ballet.