TheNutcracker

Act I

The snowflakes captivate with their grace,
toes en pointe swirling through
whirling,
sparkling flurry.

They do not slip, and I long to
enter this world of freedom and time
suspended,

grace effortless.

We are a line of Christmas clothes,
three girls, Gaga and me among this afternoon crowd
of taffeta and hair bows, and we behold
afternoon wonders
in ice and snow
tulle.

Chins arch skyward, legs, hands
all
extensions of
this winter’s storm.

_____

Intermission

We lean over railing to see orchestra
tune, and
it never ceases to
strike how Tchaikovsky’s sheets
emanate through hours, all this
melding of
blessed instruments with musicians’
own bodies,

creating meaning and we are
seeing behind
the veil.

_____

Act II

The Sugarplum Fairy is
exquisite, and she is
art —
this body emanating Balanchine elegance
as she
flies and spins and
travels floor like
no earthly being.

She is a creature of ease and shine and strength
and then
sweat droplets shimmer in the space
between shoulder blades, and she is
human,
and my breath catches
when her Cavalier holds her in position
at a crescendo, and for a moment
her thigh muscle quivers,

rapid fire.

And this is the moment eyes fill and I
feel gut ache
for now we glimpse behind the
veil of
elegant ease to the pain and sacrifice that creates
physical symphony,

this labor, this
toil of heart and frame that only appears
as
breath.

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