I’ve revised this poem for the reading on Friday (now today). I took my advice from my best friend to cut back on repetitions and clichés.
Here we go.
Walking the line dividing life from death can look like an earthquake erupting out of god’s calloused fingers, hands trembling from the stingers of 10,000 wasps that attempted to take down the sacred the day they found out somebody was trying to steal their dance; somebody was trying to rename the romance.
Now I have these bones that can’t stop shaking, these bones that want to instruct my fingers to perform this sacred ritual marked by the blood of my heart spilling thoughts onto a page and I try to walk the line but it’s so hard when we’re all so blind because we’re not supposed to believe that boys have the right to dance.
I’d like to question this circumstance by restoring the vision of a little boy walking along a balance beam that contains his ballerina dreams, gracing a projection screen that we’ll watch as we’re suspended from the wings we buried under our skin the day we decided that intangibles weren’t worth the sacrifice of knowing the ground.
His feet compose a sound that only butterflies could recognize
drawing lines as a stem divides it’s leaf,
making sure symmetry hasn’t lost it’s place.
Trees catch his breath as they sway in relief,
forbidding his step to fall because all it can do is “spring”.
And I’ve seen butterflies perform their ballet next to bullets that swear
they were flying by the grace of God
and I’ve seen men who would rather be dancing next to wasps
than practice lying to their dreams
who would say that crying is just an art formulated by river streams
to make sure that our feelings have a chance to be alive
Walking the line dividing life from death can feel like a human on a power line, filled with envy at the fact that birds and butterflies possess a design that doesn’t keep their wings under solid ground.
A design that welcomes earthquakes to provide lines for ballerinas to turn their pleas into “pliés” and crevices where roses emerge when the dance of light departs it’s stage.
So go on little boy, cultivate a garden full of your ballerina dreams that gets you so lost in it that you can no longer hear your enemy’s screams.
I want the roses to be fully bloomed and I want you to remember that the greatest difference between a butterfly and a wasp is that the toxicity of a butterfly is forgotten until it is consumed.