I adjust the violin at my chin,
stare down at the bridge.
In thick-soled boots, frock coat,
I play gigues, sarabandes
while bleak northern light
floods in from the Place des Vosges.
The faces of the Corps de Ballet are in shadow.
They exercise, distracted not by my music,
so much as by the prospect of Monsieur Louverture,
who will burst through the door at any moment like a mistral.
Will he be irritable? Forgiving?
What do they anticipate, my cygnets?
Odette, dark hair held back from her face with a ribbon, tenses her jaw.
Odile, at the window, unbearably fair, jealous of Odette, stretches, sighs.
Nearby, Fleur whispers advice to Rosette.
These sylphs, lips pursed, are like water lilies, tethered by hope, dread.
The foreground, vacant, bristles with peril.
Mike Ross is a poet and teacher. His book of poems, Small Engine Repair, was published in 2015.
The Ekphrastic Review
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