There are 99 ballerinas searching
for the home they are running away
from—vigilantes in this apocalypse because
no one could hear their angry feet,
cracked, with broken and reset toes—
crooked and disformed for the rest
of their serviceable existence. They continue
to spin no matter what. Often, they crumble
in kitchens and bedrooms. Always to
the groaning of men. All ‘Rinas receive are
standing ovations by watchers robotic
to the tutu—faces like an LOL-smiling-emoji—
not a bit of sense running through what
doesn’t grimace. People ain’t all one thing.
The things you do to be a ‘Rina, when everyone
looks for some art to toe pointing in
pointe shoes. The art of chaînés. ‘Rinas
are the silent army in the streets, taking out
double-takers with their powerful legs.
Their slippers embedded with razor-
blades. Their turns, ravage like razor wire.
Cinematic. Non-choreographed. They fast toe,
step-point, like a pat of flamingoes.
Heated. Full of that red-blood
splashing about their faces and tights.
We’re all broken and taped like
yesterday was a waste. The ‘Rina’s smile
and sweat, say it was not.
Curtis L. Crisler was born and raised in Gary, Indiana. Crisler has 4 full-length poetry books, 2 YA books, and 4 poetry chapbooks. He’s been published in a variety of magazines, journals, and anthologies. He’s been a contributing poetry editor, and he also created the Indiana Chitlin Circuit. Crisler is an Associate Professor of English at PFW. He can be contacted at www.poetcrisler.com.