A dancer on the roof spun
into her end. We saw her body falling
and a face pressed against the ground.
It can’t answer.
Someone says: she must have been angry.
Someone says: she must have been tired
and sad and weak and strong enough
just to end, to stop spinning.
I’ve had her picture framed.
I keep it near the books I read,
the flowers I buy to make my room
sweet, fresh. We dropped
masses of white all over the grave—
the rain came and tore them away, so slowly.
Her brother calls from miles away:
I miss her, I miss asking questions.
We exchange stories. I speak to her each night
telling a story: Once, I wanted to die,
but didn’t. And then the leaves turned in the wind
bright, so new. That can happen.
Her face is always averted.
You can’t make the dead listen
as you walk out the door, return and say:
I’ll be back in two hours, just
wait for me. You can’t know
she’s gone already. Did I want to die?
I stayed up all night thinking of death,
then fell to sleep. Was she playing at death?
The brilliant lights glared
from everywhere, hundreds applauded.
It was hard to see. The performance is fast
and always new. Someone broke the tight circle—we all