“Dance is an ongoing quest for perfection.”
-Diana Vishneva, Russian ballerina
The dancer every day striving for perfection but not
wanting to attain, be done, run out; yet wanting, if
the finish is the sun god. Every day, limb warm at bar
pulling every corner
of the body that tautened in sleep, that winnowing
by dream, the day in line of bellows for fly of chaff-
what will not help go forward; scything off
what makes one falter, hits at grandeur, cause.
Heat rise, muscle crawl and glow
to unbreakable taffy, arms out like amplify of butterfly,
plié on toes, inner thighs bared
like a strident give, made natural: a peacock fanning,
flared ruff of the dinosaur that ate the smirk in Jurassic Park;
like squat of cartoon dandy in coattails and top hat, legs so fine they pencil
the way smoke plumes taper at denouement of
curlicues that twist subtle as a flock of fish, fin flutter: a
shadow man all black and long indicating setting sun, that
mettle of a swan song (:kiss of bundled fingertips).
And at the same time, a different view, the muscles
staunch and etching out of nylon, show of movement under
like sheer wrap that covers worms, with bends and lunge up
to relevé; condensation, snug and all
the lines contiguous as honey bottle bear, then jump, ballon
float like Jesus bugs that walk on water. Body with its separate navels, systems, without
centers, all one, forte as a truck. The nisus
joys in this, both halves: the body sweating, the gust of breath in winter air.
About The Writer
Lianuska Gutierrez is a Ph.D. candidate in English and Gus T. Ridgel Fellow at the University of Missouri-Columbia. She was a 2008 Saltonstall Poetry Fellow. Recent work is forthcoming or can be found in Umbrella Factory Magazine, Eratio Poetry Journal, Corazon Land Review, MadHat Lit, Counterexample Poetics, and Wicked Alice.