THE DANCE AT BOUGIVAL

DEVIN KELLY

 
 

Some days I do not long to go on long           All these people             make simple & gracious
conversation difficult       The framed Renoir I keep above my desk        The Dance at Bougival
I’m told       I do not know who hid it in my attic         or if my mother meant       to take it with
her before she left     or if my father     wanted nothing to do with memory      Forgetting is as
human as love         & as hard       Time & the constant weight of gravity        pulls the canvas
from frame      bends the nail that holds it there       tilts it closer to my body       slouching off
the side of bed                come morning              I used to smoke inside the bedroom of my old
apartment        I made coffee to mask the smell        I do everything less now         This is both
good & bad        If you believe in the self as a constant        that the world is simply an anchor
holding the ocean to boat              & not the other way around              then you know the soft
struggle        of trying to unwind yourself        from yourself      I know there is a dream of love
I have dreamed of it          It is the crook of neck          & the burrowing         It is the body as a
burial ground       a place of rest       & coming alive again      Yes      I believe in a love      that
believes in resurrection               When the dance of my body is done                 I would like for
somebody to have taught me       I do not want to spend        a life without learning        Spent
matches litter       the ground beneath their feet       Two for one cigarette       a fire failed then
tried again       If you look close       you can see this         How        in the twirl & mess of color
we know movement           but not its direction         A head turned toward a kiss          or away
I am forever wound in wound                cotton balled with blood                 A person in need of
knowing          what all of this must mean          It is early now                 Light breaks bleeding
through the space in the leaves       that I call sky       What hangs here       other than my head
Even light is affected by gravity          Nothing is weightless           other than the love you give
yourself      Someone is teaching me this          There is a story here        so full of color      I am
relearning         how to speak my words         into the coffee maker      I say my ABCs backwards
& through my loop of mind              until I am a dream of vowels            The shape your mouth
makes        when you take me in          Teach me how to dance        & I will give you my mound
of chest     my crook of neck      when we rest our heads

 

 
 

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