Of All The Ballerinas

I just caught the North star with my tongue.
Their dancing makes me believe in such things,
The girls in fairy-tale attire, holding hands
And telling their legs they have to work on Saturday.

Stage light mocks the bows of the plastic pine,
Crisp mid-Eastern air taut with the smell
Of cinnamon bubble gum, old leather shoes.
I can almost taste the eggnog, sweet licorice
Of alcohol at the after-party promos.
Numb as an old man’s libido, my heavy shoes will abide.

The music is an inferno, hypnotic rise and fall
Of a heat wave where the young girls lift their
Innocence atop a graveyard of Noel’s chasing grace,
Dropping tomorrow’s homework and summer admission
To Brown and Harvard, or that belated trip to Spain
Into the dreams of their dancing toes,
A barren place where anorexia’s appetite has been misplaced.

The breath of the lady next to me is suffocating,
Avalanche of her obesity reaching across my seat,
And the Nut Cracker has come to life now.
He spins as if in orbit, crunching almonds and breading
buckeyes with peanut butter in a chocolate disguise,
Never noticing all the spinning limbs,
Greedy gifts, manhandling eyes of the dirty men
Who spy long, slim legs in white tights.
The history of Christmas is unwinding, it’s lies caught in limbo.


(First appeared in Nefarious Ballerina, 2010)