Dance Rehearsal: Middle Age

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The trees have stepped back. Her face is rehearsing
its solo. Show me how you look at your own death,
the choreographer has asked and she’s meeting its new limbs,
marveling at its toes. She drops her bag of chard, her bag
of avocados and turns to confront the four lanes of traffic
she’s crossed. The car that just missed her has continued
driving into an evening that will present itself with the sudden
angles of right and wrong and our driver will choose one
or the other while bending into his refrigerator
or, later, when her eyes are owls perched on the fence
between his sleep and the timid mice of his dreams.
Concentrate, the choreographer says and she is
on the sidewalk summoning the greetings
she’s heard in her life, the unexpected pleasure
she’s encountered, entering a room before she was
expected. Behind her, the trees, in formation, are looking at
the audience with a direct gaze meant to unnerve us a little,
startle the conclusions we’ve come to.

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