"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