Although I make believe I'm nonchalant
while watching arabesques at the ballet,
my pulse so quickens when a girl's en pointe,

I feel just like a giggling debutante
who's carried (metaphorically) away.
Although I act as if I'm nonchalant,

I'm titillated if the girl should flaunt
her pirouettes and sassy relevés.
As my pulse quickens when the girl's en pointe,

her attitude, with foot croisée devant,
unfolds the leg to suave développé.
And though I make believe I'm nonchalant,

my lungs expand with her grand battement
and blissfully expel with the plié.
Oh God! My heart's set on pied a pointe

to distraction. What matter that I can't
do more than just adore the fleet bourées
of dancing feet while I seem nonchalant?
My pulse still quickens when a girl's en pointe.

by Frank Decanio

Artwork by Degas

Frank Decanio was born in New Jersey. His cultural home is New York City. He’s written more than 1000 poems, and loves music of all kinds, from Bach to Zap Mamma. Shakespeare, Sylvia Plath, Dylan Thomas & Alan Ginsberg are some of the writers he enjoys reading. He attends a bi-weekly Café Philo in Manhattan. Schopenhauer & Kierkegaard are his philosophers of choice.

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