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For the Audience - Carl Rosenstock Poetry
For the Audience - poetry by Carl Rosenstock

You’re the ballerina; I’m the orchestra
Whistling the music you dance to.
Pirouettes, plies …

I’m not comfortable with your face —
Aspect in arc light — behind which
You disappear.

You’re not comfortable with my feet tapping
Off-beat and draw attention to yours —
The point of your art.

This is love :
Stuffing photographs of you
In my shirts, pants, anywhere

They’ll fit, even into a poster
Advertising your appearance in the act
Of thinking you’d do the same for me.

This is abandon :
the freedom Of yielding — stomach muscles
Drawn taut those seconds

At the edge of the dark
Salt and sweat on your tongue
Before you leap

Into that moment music
And dance meet, suspended
In air alone. You freeze,

Never leap, never leave
The stage. You’re dancing
Across the living room floor;

I’m throwing up in the kitchen sink.
Neither one of us knows who
Loves who more.

Encore! Fold to your knees,
Arms spread like wings.
I rise To my feet as the music

Must surely be servant
To the dancer. Your dance
Grace and symmetry : this is love.

I applaud you. I love you.
Love, not trust :
Trust is madness.

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