She waits alone on a purple stage, cut
-out flat, white and black, lacking
a dimension. She waits for shape,
for music, for lightening to spark a pulse.
Her icy skin trussed in silk and lace,
satin pumps on lifeless feet.
There’s a feather in her hair,
twisted into careful curls. She’s cold
on center stage. Acid whispers
in the wings like sour dough rising.
Her fan flairs and she begins to dance.
(a re-interpretation of the painting by Marc Chagall)
Too many bubbles in the Buck’s Fizz, said the triage nurse.
They were having trouble holding me down,
ankles bandaged to the steel legs
of waiting chairs for seven hours and counting.
Luckily everything was nailed in Emergency.
They threatened me with a heavy
radiation suit of lead. I threatened to sue.
Mark held tightly to my wrists as an extra
precaution (too tightly perhaps).
Urination from a height was Olympic.
I broke free and rose
to the top, beating my head on the ceiling.
I formed a neat hole, a short cut
to Maternity. This was not the birthday I’d expected
but I could still recall the sweetness of his watermelon.
Note 1:- The Russian artist Marc Chagall painted The Birthday in 1915. The woman in the picture is Bella, his muse, whom he married later in the same year. The oil painting is now displayed in the Museum of Modern Art, New York.