The Penelopiad

metaphor board /// katey wattam

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fluid movements 

cut by staccato undulations

massed blocks of movement

focus on large-scale patterning

an ever-moving organic colossus

bodies ripple in waves across the stage; 

complex formations swirl headily 

as multiple groups run in different directions, 

taking up sequential positions, 

then abruptly running again

sharp choral repetitive gestures 

bodies fall like dominoes; 

line up 

and windmill their arms down; 

stop suddenly 

and twitch 

heads, 

necks, 

upper bodies; 

in abrupt, 

robotic unison

a fine dust

we are so close

I can only see

you in pinpoints

fine 

sharp


I am so close

I can hear the breath

between my words

those small

quiet spaces

too short

not safe

enough


I know you so well

I don't know you at all


you are only

the songs I hum

when no one is near

a story I can recite

by heart

but don't understand


you break me

shatter the pieces

left

I have become


a fine dust

I can so easily

blow away


you know me so well

you don't know me at all

speak

speak

talk

listen

be

silent

as

the

lake

in

winter


I missed it

freezing

now it's

cold

and quiet

as a


don't 

speak

don't 

talk

or

whisper

hear them

wind

trees

talk to eachother


ghost

speak stories

the ones that

come

off the lake

dance

through

the bush

fall on our

hair

those stories


now speak

talk

whisper

sing

listen

listen

don't forget to

listen


inches

we move in

inches

not leaps

or bounds

time is different

here


we gesture

together

then apart

again

left

somewhere

quite small

only a little

beyond where

we were


but we feel it

in our bones

in the sinew-skin of our intertwined

finger

when we walk

under the elms

where buds bring out

their almost

green


when we sigh

into the marrow of

a quiet Saturday

stay in

blend closer


but then

something

and we go

so very far away

again

coil back

a bit

again

before


we move in

inches

broken

because we are

broken

there are cracks

in us

where the dark

gets in

we only hold

ourselves

together

let go

and we fall

let go

and we come

a part

ghosts

1.


ghosts linger

on our clothes

means ones

haunt

the folds of our blankets

take flight

when I shake it out

to make the bed

they fly around the room

hide in corners

crouch in shadows

watch us

wait


to stretch their hands

over our shoulders

pull small words

out of our mouths

and fluff them like pillows

until they are so big

they block out eyes


dance between us

make faces

their laughs echo

until we can't hear them


and we forget

who we are even talking to

or who we get to love now


2.

ghosts stuck on our skins

the cruel ones

taunting

dirty


we need to

warp each other

in warm water

soak our tired bodies

like wet earth in spring

we need to fill up

until we spill out


until pool surround

us like aura

and we can drift

our weighted hands

towards each other

out of water

the only tears

off our fingertips


and we can finally

wash our words


if they could be

at peace


if we could be

so still

so still

the ripples soften

around us