Forever 19

April 17, 2017

There is a place
where I am forever nineteen,
a place where I can tell my body how to move,
and it follows without creaking –

point your toes, arch your back,
a little more, now reach with your fingertips
to scratch the moon.

There is a place
where I can sense the dancers
who came before me, their sweat
locked between coats of varnish.
I glide my palms across the cool
smooth surface, legs straddled
stretching, reaching closer
to myself in the studio mirror.

There is a place
where a torn day-glo sweatshirt
dripping off my shoulder,
is the preferred uniform of the day,
along with flesh-tone fishnets
and capezios so broken-in, I can see the outline
of salt-stained toes in the worn leather.

There is a place
where the artist formally known as Prince
sings Baby I’m A Star, and with one sip
of metallic, lukewarm water
from the corner drinking fountain,
and another day of pas de bourree – jetté – plié,
I believe
I really can be.


To read more contemporary poetry dedicated to Prince, go to