self portrait: dancing alone

when you are learning to dance by yourself
it helps
if you are first experienced
at having a meal by yourself

not in front of the television
but at the kitchen table
with silverware and a napkin on your lap;
I open the window and the curtains
so I can watch and hear the birds

sometimes while I am eating alone
the zen bunny comes
and eats my radishes in the garden
which I let her do
even though that means
technically
I am not eating alone

but these are not times for
technicalities.

to dance by yourself
takes similar intention
and not any music will do
for some is too saturated in memories
of the good and bitter kinds
and some music is just too cheerful
though  a dirge is never right either

I choose Tracy Chapman, of course,
you already knew that,
or guessed, at least,
and I wear a skirt that would twirl
if I wanted such frivolity

but I begin with just my hips,
though you can’t move your hips in isolation,
can you?
for the shoulders must follow
and that brings in the arms
and now I am dancing
swaying
like a Pride flag in the breeze
and basking in the sunshine
for I open the windows and the curtains again
this time
so the birds can listen to my music
the bucket is tipped
and the zen bunny,
she’s laying all zen and such
where the radishes used to be
as she lets me relish
dancing alone

2 thoughts on “self portrait: dancing alone

  1. A stunning self-portrait! I most appreciate how you’ve paralleled eating alone with dancing alone and captured the joys of both – while depicting a strong sense of self-confidence in going against deeply-ingrained societal norms in relation to the acts of eating and dancing.

  2. I agree with fbk and I love the way your poem rounds on itself from the beginning to the end – much like a dance. Important themes for opening up and being yourself – let ‘the bucket tip’ and dance, dance, dance!!!

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