Tongue-tied and Breathless.

Forbidden Words.

Without my words,I cannot breathe,
You steal them right out of my mouth.
How then,can I live,
With nothing to say,not nearly enough to feel.
Paper may cut,Pen will splatter,
Without my words,I do not matter.
By the shadows of the night,
The words want release, Restrain does not flatter.
With these wounds,I will collapse,
For the above this heart of mine,
Another’s causes pause.
Without phoenix tears,death shall be my companion,
For what good is living,
With lowered eyes,and silent lips,
You bring me to my knees,
Without my words,I cannot breathe.

***
An attempt at poetry. For those times when there’s so much to say that you can say nothing at all.

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Odile: The third secret.

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The lone spotlight shines on the stage. Her aura,radiates in a aureole around her,dark and powerful. The air hangs heavy, dark and damp.
She enters, the black ribbons of her shoes ,crawling up her legs like vines. Her real face is hidden beneath layers of makeup. She is not herself. The black corset seems to hold her in check,she can barely breathe,the laces cut into her skin.

This is not the girl who feared scrutiny. Not the one who heeds the warning. When she first deviated,he looked. ‘Now,he will see.’ She smirked,the smile a far cry from reassuring.

The entrée is complete. She can sense her partner,but his presence of no consequence. He is merely an accessory to her,today is not for him to be seen. The Pas de deux is now laughable,this moment is hers. She will not share.

On cue,the Adaigo begins.
The very word means Slow. These are movements to showcase fluidity and Grace. As her lover’s eyes plead her not to do this,she remembers all the late-nights spent practising. Practising until she was perfect. He taught her how to use her body to talk,to communicate. He taught her not to be afraid of it.
She hesitates.
And then the moment is gone. The music consumes her,and as she glides through the movements,the touch of her partner-a slight guide. You can see the grace,the elegance,the flexibility. But she is not fluid. The eyes that follow her feel a instinctive coldness. Every pose she holds is a fraction of a second too long. This is different. Why can’t they see?

Our heroine is,on the surface,breathtaking and on the inside,gasping for breath.
The dark is so much more tempting than the the light. It pleases a part of her that has been denied too long. The struggle is soul-shattering. For how could he tell her not to follow her heart,he who taught her to trust it? How dare he imply she was not ready? He who spent every moment devoted to her.

White or Black? The decision will change her. Irrevocably.

The coda begins.
32 Fouettés en tournant. The goal. The challenge. The dispute.

She raises her leg,and using the impetus,spins.
1

2

3

Perfection.
4

5

6
Focus.

7

8

9

Deliberation.

10

11

12

So far so good…but we’re not even half way there.

She continues,and the darkness is palpable. She is beginning to drown.

19

20

21

Her shadow grows,and so does fear in his heart. She must stop. Soon.

22

23

24

Lost in a maelstrom,she knows it is no longer a choice. She has to do this. For herself. For her black swan. For once, it is about her.

25

26

27

Elation. Almost there. The slight pull in her leg is nothing, ‘ I’ve dealt with worse’ she thinks as she takes a regulated breath,ready for completion. For that pinnacle of perfection. The Elite circle of glory. No more will she be a puppet. No longer will anyone doubt her ability. No more crude remarks about her character and her lover will be heard. She will show them all. The laces in the corset cut and there is a ruby red drop of blood glistening on the floor. She barely felt it. It is of no consequence. Or so you thought.

28

29

30

She can sense the crowd. The eyes waiting for her to do the extraordinary. She shifted by half an inch in the last rond de jambe but she recovered almost flawlessly. Only he noticed. Like he always did. He had a petrifed look on his face,and for her that was the last straw. She was about to accomplish her dream and he didn’t even care.

31

A slight movement, that’s what changed her life forever. It was half an inch. It shouldn’t have made any difference. But it did. She was ready,because she believed she was. She could have lived like that you know,with her dark side out in the open. Not caring. Not loving. Cold. Perfect,seductive even, but drowning,always drowning on the inside.

32.

The crowd cheered. But as she put her raised leg down it landed in that small,tiny depression in the floor. The one she saw when she was White,and delicate and fragile.

She fell.

~~*~~

Inspired by Beethoven’s 5 secrets: Part 3.

The third secret is Balance,between the White and the Dark. Too much of either can destroy.

The three fates: The second secret.

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She moves gracefully. One motion flowing into another. The transition seamless. The eyes follow her, with bated breath they watch. Our heroine,however,does not have the luxury of leisure. Every elegant pirouette ,every assémble,deceivingly effortless. She can see the choreography in her mind’s eye,so far she has executed the plan flawlessly. But the crescendo is ahead and we’ve only just begun.

The Mahal Property,Rajasthan,1930.

She never raised her eyes,it was forbidden. She knew that. The handsome English man was a regular visitor at the haveli. He came to discuss matters of business with the Sahib. He always accepted tea. He never stayed for dinner.
The presence of a firang in their dwelling was,at first, quite a source of uproar. ‘How dare he’ seemed the common disapproving whisper,whether directed at the Sahib for extending an invitation or at the English man for accepting, remains unclear. But she liked him. This foreigner. He was kind. Politeness was not a common courtesy extended to women in their times but he was unfailingly so.   

She often thought of him,especially when doing mindless chores,cleaning the verandha of dry leaves, polishing the light fixtures of the palace until they gleamed and shone. Brought up in a culture where taking the name of your own husband was taboo and speaking when two men were conversing unthinkable, she never said a word. After all,she had no confidante, the other maids were a gossiping lot, and if the daimaa came to know?
Heaven help her! She’d be out on the streets without a paisa to her name,or a place to go!

And so she kept her pallu draped over her head,and did as she was told.

It began slowly at first. The accidental brushing of his fingers over her roughened palms as he accepted a cup of tea. The brushing by her,a little to closely to be coincidence,every time he passed by her as she stood,head down,hands folded behind her back at the entrance to the study,at every beck and call of the Sahib.

She pretended to ignore it. It was not be considered,she whispered to her heart in the dead of the night. But her treacherous heart belied her,she found herself waiting for these innocent touches. Outwardly the very image of decorum and proprietary, only her eyes betrayed any sign of the anguish and torment within.

But she never raised them. And so no one saw.

No one noticed the first change .It was small,miniscule even. But he did. He always did. But the time for thinking about the consequences was past,her mind was made up and nothing could dissuade her. Not even the warning look of her lover,her teacher,promising retribution. No, she had decided. She had been suppressed to long,she was ready. This was it. Her moment. It was time.

~~*~~
The second secret is the three fates who control the thread of life. The trick is to not let them.
Inspired by Beethoven’s 5 secrets: 2.