You’re hanging from the edge of a precipice,
your hands are pressed against the rocks.
A swarm of bees pass over your head.
You think it’s your halo,
you think it might be a storm
intending to crush you.
You desperately hope to set yourself free.
Then you relax. The sky has not yet fallen.
Nor have you.
You’re not alone.
You’re your mother’s daughter
and your father’s son,
you’re several pieces between
your friends and lovers.
But you’re tired of your dizzy poise,
you’re tired to be a dangling woman.
You listen to the water speak
softly below your feet.
Feet above your feet,
you sputter and butt
yourself against the rock.
Your belly is hard from this constant tension,
your waist, your arms, your arms,
your heart, your feet,
everything is dangling.
You think of setting yourself free,
your arms reach forward,
your heart knocks against your breast.
You must have your pair of kittens.
You try to run faster, time slows,
the breeze blowing your hair tightens
You’re not yet free,
you cannot yet saunter.
Your kittens rise and stretch,
throw around you their feline mist.
Your kittens then turn
and start away
in huge, slow strides.
You’re unable to move but.
Your own breeze has caught you tight,
you’re still dangling.
You’re dying for your kittens,
you’re dying of thirst,
you’re mad for the rain.
You look out in the distance
and find the sun in its mellow color,
dangling like yourself.
You find the silhouette
of someone diminishing and fading
beyond the saddened hill
as far as the sun sinks.
You awaken the sky with your fright.
You find tall grasses
when you look to your right,
swaying in the rhythm
of the wind --- graceful ballerinas
emerging at the edge of your sight.
You contemplate about the beauty
of your thoughts,
the beauty in your heart,
the beauty in your steps.
Out here, you’re still
a dangling woman but,
hanging by your own fingers,
your own skin,
your own thread of indecision.
You think of X, of Y, of Z,
you think of your father,
of your mother,
you think of all the women
you have been to all the men.
You think of the color of your skin,
and of Calcutta Streets,
of moonlit nights
and of summer breeze.
Your mind chatters
like a paranoid air-conditioner,
you think of all the 2 AM isolations
that have folded you up like death,
discordant without logical
and beautiful conclusions.
But you don’t want to
console yourself with sorrow
or tantalize yourself with love, do you?
Or to sell your memories to tears,
regret, self pity?
You are actually tired, tired to be a dangling woman.
You feel like being within
the walking distance of the skyline.
With your loneliness wrapped
around you, you feel like
taking to the paved rainbow
in a new direction.
Just one attempt
and you’re beyond the curve
of a risen silver bow.
Just one step and you’re
out into the blinding space
of glittering crescents.
And you glide, and sway,
and swim like an aquatic ballerina.
Years later, you measure your gains
and losses by the angle of your repose.
Finding yourself dangling in a motionless gaze,
wide of time, alert,
out of the dark, distant flurry,
now you know something more
than what all languages can mean.
(read on 5th Sept 2004 meet)