Guitar strings rattle like a snake uncoiling into song,
an improvisation meant to summon and conjure.
Spirits wait patiently at the back of a singer’s throat
until his mouth erupts into sounds from the underworld.
The sound rises like smoke and avalanches like rocks.
It ricochets off theater walls, splattering them
with messages told over a thousand years.
This song is a birth cry, a reckoning of searing loss,
and an unrequited love that singes the insides.
It conveys both vengeance and remorse.
The dancer is a woman who spends most days
in the shade, preparing for this moment in the sun.
Her fellow travelers urge and dare her to move.
They know the words she’s been waiting to say,
the mimicry of waves she’ll use to free us all.
Their cheers escalate, and we see the dancer rise
like a peacock, hands bent toward the dim lights.
Her back arched like a feline ready to fight,
this is her uprising. It’s a build up of targeted taps
that meet the song’s eerie tone, the whiplash of guitar.
Her teeth chatter while the chorus claps their palms raw.
They call out to her and chant their encouragement.
She calls back to them, though it’s hard to distinguish
foe from friend in the haze of faces when she spins.
She spins and explodes into a fury of pointed limbs.
Every muscle in her face carved by defiance.
Seconds before the kill, she pulls a cloth of surrender.
It’s pure anguish to see her writhe against the unresolved.
Nearing complete collapse, she staggers to her feet.
This is the face of stark survival, a refusal to look away.