Turning twice, I shimmied, slipped my skin
like a snake, a shake was all it took to pass
old colours I could slake off into this
big deal of a dust-bowl—just one small step
for a woman, an effort at a life
before it’s put away again, aside.

Being honest, I would say that it’s a side
of me I’ve never met before, an under-skin
I’ve been living in forever—all my life.
Slant-observed, I’d hoped that it would pass
out each and every can-kicked step
to what’s been planned in chalk—to this

I must admit, plead guilty: to all of this
and every televised bright day I’ve set outside
the passions that I have within my up-step,
down-stride, in the runaround my limpid skin
declines towards, the easier to take the by-pass
ravelled outskirts of my life,

and, make no mistake here, it’s my life—
in spite of wars I never asked for, this,
and that, disease, all of which I hope will pass
without much damage, and, it’s still inside
the bounds of reason that it is my skin
and my decision as to what my next step

might be in this dance’s brittle quick-step.
The choreography isn’t complex, life
twists arms, shakes legs, a neck-length stretch of skin
has served me well enough through most of this,
and I can say that, almost, with no rancour, aside
from moments I’ll let go of now. I’ll pass

and ask that you too, please, allow to pass—
blue planet, oyster moon, fierce stars—one more step
and I know I’ll be on the other side
of money, traffic, time, a type of life
that pirouettes to this, to this, to this
big stupid heart that beats beneath my skin.

Almost there, I twist aside to let myself pass
mind and bones and skin. I’m ready for the step
into a life I’m dying to describe. It’s like this…