Tanaquil and the Body
Time was different after she got sick. It, becoming
a mechanism; no longer a toy she tangled with.
Her mother hoisted the body into the chair.
the chair huffed where she sat. when she
shat, her mother offered to wipe the body.
she said No. death’s perfume wafted from the bowl.
white as a slipper, no foot could achieve the perfect
curve of a toilet bowl.
with machete arms, she hoists the body from porcelain throne
to plastic chair. night falls. twilight collects debt for holding
off the dark. in slips the dark. in skips the dark. through chiffon curtains–
body sprung from the chair. wheel hinge
gleams. the hinge gave a cry! I lept up
and pointed my perfect pointing toes. I flirted
with the glossy wood– pas de deux, love story of feet
and the floor! chair follows like a ghost. like my soul.
skyward leg curls around the air like a scimitar craves
a throat. cuts the neck. the white death of a knife’s
edge. she danced the pas de deux. the pas de deux danced
her to death. leaving the body
bound to the bed, the chair, the moldering couch. morning woke
her, and she awakened in the body bathed in scalding light. blue chair leered
from its corner.
the body, the bed, the chair,
sleep, eat, live, forget. forget the dance.