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O woman
O darkness

O soft-footed shadows of the
womb that conceived sleepless
cities toiling under a silver moon

through the ordained danger of birth
that gilds in flame every aspiration
and makes pure every soul

the worthiness of each inch of
each stride on the well-lit streets
of the other side

measured against the depth traversed
by its reasons and how ferociously it
had fought the guiles of its demons

the opacity and substance of what you
have to offer the world come face to
face with themselves in the mirror

warped with the perception of those
for whom you are a stranger and yours
is a strange story

and the light that you built out of
visions and the beauty you extracted
from your pain

must be armed to find their own way,
say their own names without wavering,
and claim their own place

without sacrificing too much of their
innocence and the blood of your hard
work in resisting jadedness

from being mishandled by hands who
do not deserve to hold you but are
predisposed in their cruel curiosity to try

O fearlessness
O lithe flesh harboring secrets
O limitedness of being that emancipates the stars
.

MistyCopeland_DennisLeupold
.
“Ballet Star Misty Copeland”
.
by photographer Dennis Leupold

.

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