Poetry Finalist Pamela Dillon

Jul 16, 2016 by

Poetry Finalist Pamela Dillon

She Went to Dance

Oh, Fata Morgana, from my eye
to the long line of the horizon
I see you. Everything ripples
in this desert of a heart.

They say when you are dying
your pulse races and your breathing
soars. When you are near:
my heart races, I arc and

shimmer like a dancing sun.
Are you inspired, or do you
tire of me whirling away
from you—hazed and
mirror magnified?

Everybody wants to touch me,
they stand close, she leans
in to hear my words, though I
speak loud enough for my own ears.

They place hands upon my
shoulders, shift and ruffle closer,
pick at a fluff, straighten a crease
they come from behind—whisper

in my ear, move me familiar
push at the base of my spine,
bump into me sometimes skim
their fingers over my ass.

Hands find the nape of my neck,
wind their way into my hair, he runs
a lip across my shoulder blade, a little
rumba down my spine—if so inclined,

a thumb along the crease of my breast,
tickle me under my ribs where I am not
ticklish, try a bony broad knee caress and
I say, not there either. I am not ticklish.

My body is a desert—dry white-bone
Atacama. My eyes see only brilliant rays
and stark rolling peaks, hard rigged and bare,
jutting hip and bone parched. My body

is a desert, even in the Valle de la Luna.
It feels nothing but grit and dusty liberty,
it shifts and moves like sand, just like
their hands move over me. Wear away

at my lush places, taste my salares,
searching for a succulent. It seems
everyone is thirsty these days.
The sweet spring I drank from

is lost to me now, I wandered—
I was inattentive, it’s nowhere
to be found. I said, I didn’t come
for love, I came to dance, in the

morning sun I lay naked, staked out
like a warning and I dare the rays to burn
me up, incinerate my heart, roast my bones
to powder. No juicy marrow keeps.

So I will stop longing for the moist space
of your mouth, and when they grasp a handful
of me—I’ll slip through their fingers,
the way you did through mine.


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Pamela Dillon is a writer and poet, and has been published on the CBC Books – Canada Writes website, in the literary journal Tin Roof Press, in the William Henry Drummond / Spring Pulse Poetry Anthology, and most recently, in the Globe and Mail.


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