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From high on the balcony
I can look down
goddess-like and detached
on the proceedings of love
where my heart, once
of flesh and ready to bleed
used to dance at center stage
like nobody was watching
like everyone was watching
both agonizing and exulting
in the attention
like every matinee was her first,
or last day performing,

she gave her soul to be Juliet
and her life was a happy chaos
full of postcard-worthy sacrifices
and feverish abandon,
that everything-beyond-my-everything
-will-take-care-of-itself trust in
the justice that are promised those
who love with all they’ve got
and when the weather got bad sometimes
she forgave the rain showers and
never stopped believing in sunshine

now I am no longer
tripping and slipping
on the wet flagstones of faith
black majestic wings of independence
have done away with my frailty

but the steel gracefulness I found
makes me panic

it feels unnatural not to need
it feels I have traded in
my gibbous nudity
with forgetfulness of what
my Mama told me matters most in life

this is not me
people tell me I should be proud
of what I’ve become
tell me I should flaunt my crown
tell me I am pursuing
better things now than
the love of a man,
but this is not me

“Paris Fashion Week – Giambattista Valli”
from icanteachyouhowtodoit