Let Pretense Go

Happy National Poetry Month from Stance on Dance!

BY CHERYL PALLANT; ILLUSTRATION BY LIZ BRENT

 

This she is also an I. I am listening. There is this way of

knowing. With bones, breath, a sideways glance, a whisper.

 

She walks across grass and down the corridor, struts in

rhythmic balance in ethereal laugh, a restorative planetary

 

sigh. Unlike a convulsion. Unlike hate locking doors in trigger

unhappiness. Peepers and crows call. The wasp and June bug

 

land and perform a symphony of silence, of wait and reveal,

of taking in and giving back. There is this way of listening to the

 

rush of rain, desire besting lush, another pour of coffee,

another elbow yank, another look of misgiving, a furrowed

 

crown, skin clenching after what will not yield. I am

listening to my best step forward. Ancestors string pearls,

 

glean futility for fertility, a promise of human touch that does

no harm and grows grass without mowing it down. Anticipate

 

a voice beckoning impulse that cannot be ignored. Endure

this. Breathe its passage. Insist upon nothing.  Assert

 

melancholy s beauty, its dance in the desert. Oh ecstasy. Leg in

sand. Arm in escape. Thigh introverting plasma glory. Gore

 

from before gone. I glisten newly born, red faced, mouthing

words while stumbling, bumping walls and doors, an arrogance

 

of surfaces and obstinacy of angles. I pushes, I slides, I gasps

the pain of delight and the light of dark.  Take her there. Take

 

me with you.

StancePoetryMonth_PallantPretense_2018.04 - for SOD

Cheryl Pallant is a dancer, writer and professor in Richmond, Virginia. She has published several books of poetry and nonfiction, as well as many articles. This poem was first published in Her Body Listening, by Blaze Vox Books.

Liz Brent is a multi-disciplinary artist, writer, educator and producer in Oakland, CA. More of her work can be seen at www.lizb.work.

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