"The Waterfowl Ballet" by Jennifer MacBain-Stephens
 

Two mute swans (Cygnus Olor) dance a long Act one

Act two is drama filled with a real foul wedding

 

Act three is more accept yourselves! Read The Four Agreements

How many church placards sell the idea of God as wrathful?

 

A ballet of sci-fi, of Fellini, of milk carton mug shots,

of repurposed oak tables, of braided hair pomp

 

too many betrayals for a secret game night audience

so looney, so full of retro candy and live streaming

 

they cannot applaud the correct moments

one swan bends the other one backwards, the long

 

neck scrapes the floor, the wings vulnerable, trying not to beg,

but the curtain is broken, does not fall when it should

 

so the swans hold this pose forever

the gulls and ducks swarm the theater, a true menagerie

 

of white flight and shit storms and rudeness

A ballet clean-up crew tried to help

 

a rage-y B movie mob

replace grace

 

with an instinct to follow

to run full speed off a cliff

 

to burn things and go to prison or die trying