Friday 10 August 2012: On Point
Not today Carpezio's square-blocked shoe.
Choose Gamba's pointed toe and softer resin,
work them, break them in the door's hinge.
Tie on to dance round the dressing room,
faster, soften the glue in the bourées' heat
to enclose toes clenched as an Ibex hoof,
the points melt and you feel the floor.
Now dance, dance through the pain until
you float free, gain the power to extend
in wild Russian style, driven by the music.
Thirty two fouettés - ah the panache!
They are clapping silently in the wings.
Jump, fly, to land on Gamba's resin block.
Remember that agony once meant pleasure.
After, I hold your foot, swab the bleeding toes
where the block has cut through callouses
and cracked the ribbed and thickened nails.
I feel the pulse across the instep's arch,
the strap of muscle that holds its trained
perfection, the throb of blue veins pulse
under the surface of translucent skin.
B T W