how the ballerina gazes offstage in wonderment

and leaps, arms leading, toward castles

beyond the velvet curtain.


I know she is only breathing quiet and quick in the dark back there

until her next entrance,

but I will remember the moment she made me believe, made me imagine

ancient stones and the belts of princes

and what is underneath said belts.


A Member of the Audience

It is hard to believe that

we are the occasion

for this pageantry,

this crescendo,

these smiles and makeup and grand


all this effort,

this art.

Broken and rough–

we don’t seem to be

the final version

of anything,

whisking around

our scrambled


steam rising

from our milk hearts.

At our center are

unknown substances.