A Threshold


There is mine: a rounded shape

with the usual girl parts. Then there is his–angles and curves–

to fit mine, challenge nerves which had numbed.

A body is as much noun as concept,

referential. To tell anything of my own

I reach for his, pull him

to the page, a disguise

because my skin is itchy as wool. People know me

with my mother or my father, I am both sides of the family,

            their echo. I consider action

verbs for my limbs but there are too many to choose

so I focus on limitations. How wrong

            when the knee bends backwards, or an elbow inverts,

pokes through skin, what to make of it?

That the threshold for breaking

is intuitive for every body. A ballerina

embodies an aria, an ostrich feather waving in a breeze.

I want to know how she holds

her balance in the fury of spins.