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Liliana Valenzuela
POEMS
 

Pas de Deux



Something in this room
            so big,
  like an elephant
     sitting at a table.
Mikhail Baryshnikow
     finishes his dinner,
  piano chords fling classical tunes
    at the Samovar,
his very own restaurant
  in Manhattan.

He appears petit
  not larger than life
    like on TV next to petite ballerinas,
 slight, thin,
    immensely handsome,
an interesting nose
   with boney character,
short, spiky blond hair,
             balanced ears
my heart 

                                    sharing the same air
a hypothetical space 
   lightly moving
             against the grain,
choreographic design
             dominated by stillness,
symbolic gestures
             dramatically presented by
                        his person,
boundary between dancer and audience,
   vision will prove to be
within reach,
             almost choking on my borscht,
swaying to hearty Russian tunes on the piano,
the ex-pats   merrily   re-
    joicing,
             I manage to spring 
                                              forward
             touch his coated arm,
                        Mr. Baryshnikov,
                        May I have your autograph?
                            
            We share
                        signs, electrons, protons

            Of course,
                        he's still taller than me.
  I inhale him,
               he quickly leaves,
               the chatter of Russian tongues,
                         folk songs, and vodkaed voices
                                      hammered on a baby grand.

The pianist smiles,
                 and I smile back,
showing an ex-tra-or-di-na-ry
             ability                to recover
 
                                          my breath.







Copyright 2002 by Liliana Valenzuela. By permission of Stuart Bernstein Representation for Artists, New York. All rights reserved. Audio performance copyright 2002 by Liliana Valenzuela. Recorded by Sounds In Mind, Austin, TX.

   
   
   

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