Happy National Poetry Month from Stance on Dance!


I see a grey scarf and know nothing.

Yellow-nosed nobodies bake bread on the

sun. You strip tease hot details into batter

and utter disaster, deaf diving like snow.

We grew up watching ladybugs mish mash

in discreet folds of the earth and now that

we have roads you love to seam-rip and collect

brands of unusable dishware. Lather me in cream pie

and eat me dry, all parts are left and right. Seeds

split refrains in mid-air. I drop in threes


something stark naked, blind, and stupid.

(Two plus four equals nine.) An opaque shade

lacks us together. I lay tracks, you divide

parallel lines, I am eager to weigh you again.

(A lot of things have to do with lines.)

You fire clay pieces without fitting


your hands into me. Our shapes are unfinished.

Triangles in the waste of your mouth, on the lace

of my mouth, in the pace of your mouth, in the way

of my mouth topples out eggshells from the breakfast

we shared on the roof of your house. In fat

silence we watch seagulls spawn and don’t speak

of what will never match. I see a white scarf

and know numbers. Let me start here: marine biology

is skin graffiti, surgeons invent paper dolls, freckles

gash when they aren’t really freckles. My eyes steam

images into one type of lithography, my sockets

emit a grassy smell. Your sockets are lasting

objects of your transparency. Only now

you don’t listen and I don’t tell and what surfaces

is residue of last year’s milk. (Two sevens


equal nine.) You make cat licks to spill day

dreams. I baste you in cinnamon and

absorb your taste. I watch you wither gold,

tear rouge, bruise tough maroons when I sing soft

shoulder. You clutch my ribs and tell me I spin

like smoke, split like stitching, itch like pollen.

You used to say I could blind you. Now when

I point out the weather, you say it’s only starch.

Madelyn's Milk poem illustration

Madelyn Biven lives in Hawai’i and is exploring island culture & her native roots. She has danced in the Bay Area with companies including Project Thrust, Ziru Dance, RAWdance and Alyce Finwall Dance Theater. In college she won the Ully Hirsch / Robert F. Nettleton Poetry Prize for Creative Writing. Madelyn has been a figure model for artists in NYC, the Bay Area, and now Hawai’i as well.