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  Vers la Flamme

Behind the Dancer's Mask

Behind the Dancer's Mask


Image 25: Maelstrom
Image 25
(click to enlarge)

Vers la Flamme

  1. The Consultation

    It was nothing
    (I whispered to myself)
    A little twinge
    What nerve my body had to speak like this!

    It came and went
    This little nothing
    Came and went and came again
    To stay

    I grew accustomed to its voice
    The rise and fall and rise again
    And always there

    I danced attendance secretly
    An upstart improvising choreographer

    But when this foreign aria of my flesh
    Became atonally grotesque
    On you I called

  2. The Stay

    Do you know how scared I am
    Behind this dancer's mask
    Do you, dear Doctor?
    How the weight of every graceless step
    Each kiss omitted
    Every sin of my imperfect life
    Every foolish thing I've ever done
    Has found its perfect resting place?
    You must know (I'm whispering again!)
    What I deserve

    Last night
    The high-pitched startling clamor of your instruments
    Summoned the kindly shades
    Who came and went, came and went
    Cool hands and faces undismayed
    By my rebellion

    And as they thronged and ministered
    My restless eye alit
    On an absurdity above
    So like a kite in buoyancy and shape
    I couldn't help by laugh
    And fumble for its string
    To tether me

  3. The Cure

    Statistically speaking I'm a cure
    I've graduated, I will be a
    Among a bunch of other dots
    All clustered round a line on some important doctor's graph
    So straight and true and upward sloping toward the heavens
    (My sense of humor has returned, you see)

    You tell me that the odds are stacked
    Against my visitor's return
    And in the narrow sense you may be right --
    I hope you're right!

    Eventually, though, a relative will pay a call
    And then I will most courteously receive

    But meantime I aspire to the state of trees
    Root, trunk and branch
    Sunlight and wind and the flashing pirouettes of topmost leaves
    Whose music when they fall
    Remains unbound by rules of harmony

- Emanuel E. Garcia

Vers la Flamme was published in The Pharos, Vol 68, Winter 2005, pp. 28-9.

Image 26: Epiphany
Image 26
(click to enlarge)
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