BY TEODORA DUMITRIU
Poetry lies like a lion cub’s paws –
coyly, deceivingly sheathing the claws.
Poetry lies like a young dancer’s skin –
soft and silky without, raw and restless within.
Poetry lies like a grinning old clown –
huge red nose honking loud, diamond-shaped sparkling tears,
polka dot handkerchiefs streaming out of the ears…
pitch black trains piling up in the tunnel of silence deep down.
The second the lioness sprang, the audience screamed.
The ballet girl gasped.
The harlequin sighed.
As a clumsy young beast behind bars
groomed to bend and behave and beguile
she had mastered the Circus Codes early –
learned to bow, toe the line,
sip her bile,
chew her pride.
But then year after year after year, as the lion heart simmered and lion blood pried
every time her own kin had to kowtow,
the lioness lied.
Many a funny old clown’s heart is shattered.
Many a young dancer’s dream bleeds and dies.
When the lioness purrs, when the lioness curtseys – ringmasters, beware!
Born to Russian parents, Aleena was just three when her family immigrated to England 55 years ago. Aleena currently lives in Islington with her 3 lovebirds and enjoys writing well embellished semi-accurate biographical accounts of her most interesting life. You'll be pleased to hear that since the 'incident' Aleena has managed to avoid getting her skirt caught in her underthings.
THE LOVE OF MY LIFE
NEVER TOO LATE
I met the love of my life in late spring. Too bad: it was one-sided. I don’t think it could have been different considering how I met him.
I left my apartment to go to university and there he was in the elevator. I’d heard a real hunk had moved into the apartment two doors down from mine. I smiled to him, showing my straight rows of whites and I could see a playful light in his eyes. Instantly, I thought: that was it.
He was exactly what I’d imagined I’d want during all those awkward years of looking around, trying to find my Mr. Right and being shut down just because I had those ugly braces, the height and the curves of a scarecrow, and the chest of a boy. Well, that changed. The braces were gone, leaving behind a beautiful smile, the height remained, but got assorted with curves and my breasts sprouted and I was filling a double D bra. Now, I had my chance to have my Mr. Right.
I smiled wider and tried to get a bit closer; maybe, maybe he’d make a move. I knew everything about flirting from movies and erotic novels. Besides reading for my courses, that’s what I did: I read erotic novels, watched chick flicks and stole advice from Cosmo. Even now, even though it doesn’t seem like it matters anyway. I suppose it became a habit.
He simply laughed and for a moment there, I felt unsure. The elevator reached ground floor. He let me pass first and followed me out. I had already been out of the door of the building when he touched my arms and said:
“I think I’d better let you know: your skirt got caught in your panties.”
My cheeks flushed red. I could feel the rush of blood filling every pore of my skin. I was mortified and then I tried to save face. I laughed as if it had been a common occurrence and playfully touched his arm.
“It happens, doesn’t it? Thanks for telling me!” I pulled the skirt out of my panties and tried to console myself that at least I’d showcased my shapely legs and round behind. Nothing to be ashamed of!
He laughed and left.
That was the turning moment, I think. I started checking the hall through the peephole before going out. I was mortified to meet him again. I did everything in my power to avoid him and threw myself into a life full of activity, lying to myself that I had a huge group of friends, a fulfilled life, and that there weren’t enough hours in a day to do everything I could do.
Now, drinking a Napoleon and watching the people passing by the little bistro in St-Germain, I realize the emptiness I surrounded myself with. The love of my life is stuck somewhere in the past and I didn’t even let anyone get too close. The closest a man got to me was to take my coat off.
Well, I’ve got so much knowledge and it’s going to waste because I’ve been afraid of being caught with my pants down. Literally!
Swallowing the last of my cognac, I make a decision. The first one coming down this way is mine. Even if he’s young or too young! When you turn 55, it doesn’t really matter how young he is. I’ll turn into a cougar. So what?
A thirty-something year-old comes along: ink-black hair, a little longer than the norm, a supple gait, and a predatory smile. All right, he’s got something in common with the love of my life. So he’s he the one I need now.
I cross my legs pushing my skirt farther up my long legs and lean against the back of the chair to push my breasts up. I make a stand. I see his eyes darting towards the buttons almost ready to pop and then lingering over the curve of my hip towards the length of my legs. He licks his lips. Yeah, he’s caught. Now, let’s try to recapture lost youth.