Break at touch, illustrated by Carol Aust


I dance to keep my body limber so
I can be opened like a treasure box.
My body moves its musts through staccato
shakes and strikes, shedding my stiff stuff, old rocks
of muscle to meet the practice gung ho—


then all this jammed, blocked up sadness unlocks
to waterfall on any loving shore.
The manmade lake refuses the dam’s locks—
surprised fish flop on a wetslick dancefloor.
It’s all because my two friends let me know:


I’m home here. Their hands make front and back doors
blowing catharsis through me—sluicing storm—
unpent torrent of the self-made monster
roaring through canyons, erasing all forms,
weeping to reconstruct from the wreckage—


because my child forces me to transform,
because this dancing life’s lost every norm.

Ah, Carol Aust!


Extra thoughts:
first, I so love that Carol makes her living making art.  
Mudita: joy at another's joy. Thinking of Carol and her family, poet/photographer Ed Aust, and their amazingly talented and creative kids Noah and Sophie makes me feel inspired.

Second: this poem "happened" after my daughter had been alive a couple of years. I dance at a welcoming space where people are allowed to bring what they have. That night I had new understanding that my life had found a new normal. I didn't weep for grief, or not grief alone. It was a sea change with an appropriate liquid manifestation.


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