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Pas de deux / Kaleigh Walter

They burst into existence

a wingspan of eighth notes


violin case their marquee

but a wasted occasion


to try fate on like a purple dress

and embody a ballet


written by a Russian god

for a dying swan.


Zürich imports dozens

sowing cygnets into canals


each saccharine neck curved

like the body of a cello.


You and I watch them

glide past dangling feet


tapping our toes to the troupe’s crescendo

marking the silence


that grew between our

long-distance duet. 


Another white bird

floats under us


and defecates

marring the turquoise shimmer


until the lake’s meter

makes it disappear.


Only it doesn’t

not really.


The entropy is merely scattered

molecule next to molecule


hydrogen hydrogen shit and oxygen

mouth mouth ellipsis and breath


but I am the one who sees the waves break the mire

I kiss you stranger

and let your exhale

plume over me too.


KALEIGH WALTER is a poet, prose writer, and nonprofit fundraiser living in Minneapolis. She holds an MFA from Concordia University, St. Paul, and she's working on her first novel. Her work is featured in West Trestle Review and Book of Matches. Twitter/X: @KaleighWalter, Instagram: @kaleigh_walter.

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