At 3pm, I thought the day would be represented like this: spring, a shock of blue sky, everything budding. I submitted poems, walked, lunched with a friend, sat on a park bench reading books of poetry for a contest I’m helping to judge. Kids ran in the grass. I pulled up my sleeves to get sun on my arms. All this was before Fifi Switchblade. When Chris said burlesque, I had vague ideas about what that meant–feathers, strutting, spectacle. It was not quite the wigs and bondage-y outfits we encountered at the show that night. But I could roll, and the the first performer took the stage, slinking across in her black bustier and arms draped like wings. Across, across, and then right off the edge, dropping to the concrete below. Fifi, on the floor, folks rushing to help her. The show was on hold while we waited for an ambulance. We sang her happy birthday while they lifted her to the stretcher. And then the show went on, with mermaids on poles and tassel-titted women spinning on hoops. Nine muses danced in red gowns and black bras. After the first intermission, I headed home. Chris and Gary stayed ’til the end. But one day can only contain so much–the clear blue of a new season, the dark night of women falling, and waiting for me the cats, the covers, the crossword I was so close to completing.
March 27, 2015