Tiny Deaths

Happy National Poetry Month from Stance on Dance!


In excavating remains of ancient cultures, archeologists never find any dance. Dying as it lives, dance doesn’t know how to sit around waiting to be found.


Tiny Death #1

We sit in the car, both of us stiff with tears. We can’t talk.

By some grace we propel forward through the night, the pressure of my metatarsal on the gas pedal still intact.

We get home, unbuckle our seatbelts. Slowly the paralysis dies, to be replaced with teeth being brushed and toilets being flushed before bed.


Tiny Death #2

I’m walking alone at night. I know I shouldn’t be. Not here.


it’s pouring. Gushing. Slushing. Rushing over my prickled arms, my clothes absorbed to drenched capacity.

I can’t decide if I should run for glee or stand and soak. The dance is in the indecision.

Somehow I get to my friend’s apartment.

The residue drains. My clothes are changed. The banter begins afresh, and do I want some wine?

I hold a private vigil as each drop evaporates from my hair.


Tiny Death #3

We’ve just kissed, and now his face dives into my palm with a fervor I’ve never witnessed except in movies.

Days later, when I recount the evening in my head, what will give me goose bumps is not the kiss or what ensued, but that desperate dive, as if my sweaty palm held a utopia.


Tiny Death #4

The man at the farmer’s market tells me his tomatoes are dry-farmed, grown so close to the sea as to never need watering.

He hands me a sample slice wrapped in basil.

I nonchalantly pop it into my mouth

and halt,

my every cell suddenly brought into sharp focus.

Eyes closed, shoulders drooped, chin thrown back; my teeth mechanically chew the slice to a pulp before it slides down the back of my tongue.

I open my eyes. The taste slowly fades. I seem able to walk again.

I don’t take another slice.


Tiny Death #5

I walk onto the stage. The audience stares at me.

My dance begins.


And then my dance is over. The attention shifts.


Of my tiny dances, there are only tiny deaths, no other artifacts. Nothing else remains.


Emmaly Wiederholt is the founder, editor and curator of this excellent blog you are reading – Stance on Dance. To learn more about her, read more here.