and a dance, voided – Sarah Little

above the ballroom
a chandelier sparkles.
a dozen candles stand
precariously in place,
casting dim light.

in the centre of the
room,
she stands with vacant eyes.
she’s checked out of her
mind, now just
posing
herself as an ornament.

under the light
she gleams,
polished like silver –
mind empty and body
tense.

she speaks simply
in conversation,
mono-syllables for answers
and barely rousing
from her position.

when she does move,
it’s a calculation of
how she thinks she is
supposed to look.

you offer her a hand
to dance:
she is stiff, tenser still.
it’s a dance she knows
flawlessly well
but her mind is
too clear.
she can’t connect
music to motion.

the dance fails:
metal and water prove they
cannot work together.

her bones are
imperceptible.
the longer the dance,
the stiffer the
motion.
people turn to look –
“human and marble pillar;
automation, robot,” they
whisper
behind champagne flutes.

“it can never end well.”

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