it made more sense to me 
to learn what you couldn't do - 
what wouldn't sound right - 
as there was less of that
and so that would be easier

that's what I would say
if I was a jazz hipster
shooting it from the hip
during my interview after
having been questioned 
about my approach 

and I wouldn't be lying

if all the colors are going to work, essentially 
then to what degree will they not?

if any "you" will do, 
then when will you not?

when must it be just you,
only these colors, this light, this tune surrounding us,
this time...

this dance - this grand waltz - these lace veils flowing,
this stairs, this golden case, this spiral rail;
these elegant steps we walk with graceful assurance

in bows tied just right - tight at the waist and Adam's apple,
just enough wear on the soles and the heels, we dance without care,
no fear of slipping or falling

down can be a long way, or a long time coming,
on paper - and in real life - the arrow will appear to point up

I once likened it to digging oneself out of an avalanche,
only to find that one had been upside down all along,
and a reader commented that she freaked out over the thought,
and she got me freaked out over it, so here I re-conceive the concept
to get it out of our heads

it is like thinking that one is fully in love, only to find
that continuing to fall more in love backward and under, 
there are even greater cushions - billows of feathery down - 
upon which to fall, these caress you, and kiss your cheek, 
bring warm palms to soothe your back and hold your head above the spring grass, delectable morning dew and a welcome sear of heat from an early sun, raring to go as we...

and somewhere a climber dances in an ice castle
upside down in a world where light dims thin,
songs sound the same though
and such a fine echo should not go
so under-sung so many unrung rafter to rafter

and high hopes ring better as a chorus
than a soliloquy for one, unless of course it's in refrain
or part of the overture

I once wrote that I'd often been so sure,
I wrote about it - hell, I even telegraphed it,
here's my interjection on my internet connection:
we have convection because the hotter airs rise
and cooler minds stay lower

so low like a crystal marionette 
dangling from a stalagmite, 
ballet atop a tight frozen wire

angelic pirouettes
are no longer in fashion,

my love had an Uncle 
who was a seamstress 
specialized in ballet shoes

he brought a very tough love and care
to the durability and the functionality
of the shoe for the dancer

material that was always fresh on the feet
with superior glide and grip you could turn on
like a foot brake

I am not certain that he himself was ever a dancer,
but he did play various string instruments, and 
was surrounded by music - it appears - growing up

my point, I guess,
is that angels require a fine shoe with which to execute the turns
and leaps that we have grown to expect from them and the dancing cherubim
...the angelic hierarchy...a hierarchy and a history, by the way, that we do NOT understand

Uncle Rocco had a small seamstress space where he custom-tailored
exquisite dancing shoes for the finest dancers:
pointe shoes, ballerina flats, beautiful bindings and split soles, 
ribboned and pleated in shades of sky and clouds blushed by the light of the day as it passes from morning on through to stars

it is a wonderful thing when
the anatomy of the shoe meets the anatomy of the dancer

Aunt Senita  - she pronounced it as Santa, as would Claus - made
wedding gowns to order, with heavenly lacing, full tulle or flowy chiffon, 
a bodice of intricate beading, Senita's gowns flowed seeking the long lines
of the same graceful angelic dancers as Rocco

Aunt Senita was not married to Uncle Rocco, by the way,
two separate stories, one flow - her workspace and his 
share similarities, in my mind, ditto their natural talents, 
as does their love for their work and for their customer

in that way they are one

if you get this far buballah, gimme me a shout out below,
be sure to have bialys added to your spell-check
along with coffee no milk nor sugar

perhaps, some 2% froth, and that 
small spoon of cinnamon

choice of cake
something with flaky yellow crumbs

oh my God - is there frosting too?
she says in slow motion,
drawing the sheet to her shoulders,
but now higher up her knees

dimples and freckles

and I am lost and I am found 
in every song that is played, with lovers in mind,
in every afternoon that was to be saved

some photographs hold so much light from the moment they capture,
these serve their time well, this response to a triggered finger on film,
light through time through glass, to the eye and the heart once again there in time

in my stillness the moment lives
distinctly - not ill-patterned,
avoiding the things that don't work,
the 20% effort that gets you 80% of the way there

the chain around my neck begins to float to the ceiling, 
at least what I thought was the ceiling just a moment ago

cc: Chagall 2021