when is a movement more than a movement

Perhaps it stems from my obsession with bodies. The various ways in which we decorate them, enhance or decrease them, locate the voices kept hidden within folds. There is no body I do not notice. Though I prefer the ones with weight, curvature that forces me to practice mathematics (diameter, circumference, right angle, obtuse, quadratically-equated hips), I will also notice the bony ones: ribcages like dish racks.

I attend a dance performance featuring a dear friend of mine. There are two long rows created by metal chairs. Each one gets filled in with a pleated body, attentive and ready. Music arrives and I recognize it as an instrumental version of a popular song. My eyes grow heavy, feeling more like mountains than tiny pebbles on my face. They fall or something falls from them. I am drowning. (I am crying).

The gestures created from each dancer’s movement are ominous, narrated by faces lit by rouge on cheekbones and reddened lips. There are no words, yet I find myself translating the narration of their bodies.

This one is about falling in love and the fumes spread throughout a village of others. They grow sickly giddy: pushing hips out, curving thighs upward, lifting legs toward cheeks, twirling, twirling.

This one is about longing. Stuck inside the invisible structure of solitude. Of emptiness. The language of: this is not enough. Dancer is alone. Pushing out of/ away from her body. She is stuck. She studies the way it feels. Tempts the air around her with the ways in which her skin can shake and tremble. There is no way of getting out; how to make do with this.

A song arrives. I know this one. I’ve performed to this. The tears fall down my face like tree sap, slowly. They tumble. These bodies of women are able to curve in ways I want my poems to. They feast on instrumentation, beats, rhythms and remixed choruses.

These dancers are circular. Their bodies are oceans. I am boxed and locked. My body is scribbled.

There is a moment when a movement becomes more than just a word or gesticulation of intention.

The song fades out. The dancer walks to the side where the others watch. The audience claps. I clap. The audience writes down notes on designated papers, offering critique for this show of previewed works-in-progress.

I want to annotate my triggered memories. I want to walk up to them and whisper moans of sadness into their eardrums. Instead, I rip out twelve eyelashes and give one to each of them. Not for wishes, but to offer up my cells as a gesture…a movement..an extraction of intimacy.

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