BY NATALIE DERYN JOHNSON; ILLUSTRATION BY CAMILLE TAFT
Tell me your secrets, but don’t use your words.
Melt your flesh into mine and resonate in the reverb.
In your connective tissue lives the fossils of your soul.
Unearth the crystallized stories.
Sew them into my every fold.
Our palms will mirror and greet.
This is more than a pressing “hello.”
The envelope that breathes, spaces between growing narrow.
An abyss of gathering eyes, two bodies of water meet.
Pouring and streaming fluidly, only the jettison separate.
Constellations and landmarks, draw me a map of your own design.
The curvature of your figure in intimate navigation, gentle gestures and lines.
Scars and knots of a vessel used, let me sense your weight.
Allow every moment to evaporate any lingering sense of age.
Let my person be to your person a cleansing sage.
Tell me your secrets, not because I can discern them.
Tell me because your vulnerability feels embraced.
Disclose and reveal a personal description.
For my body is your body.
This is a safe space.
Natalie Deryn Johnson is a multi-media, improvisational dance artist and poet. Quirky and spirited, Natalie infuses intimacy and honesty into all she does . . . sometimes funny, always sincere. Her stories are of the body between grief and celebration with a desire for expanding social compassion.
Camille Taft is a seventeen year-old dancer living in Longmont, CO, who has trained throughout her life in primarily ballet and modern dance. With both her parents as visual artists, she has always appreciated the excitement that comes from a collaboration of mixed media, and was thus overjoyed to have the opportunity to work with Stance on Dance.