Of Being in Motion

There’s a body marching toward mine.
I can feel its breasts and stomach, hot

against my back. Its breath in my hair.
I accumulate bodies—my own.

The tattoo braceleting my wrist.
My earlobe like a pin hole camera.

My vagina, untouched. My vagina,
stretched. So many bodies treading

toward the others. And the bruises I conceal
with makeup and denial. The scars I inflict

on myself, and the ones I contort
with a mirror to see. I didn’t always know

we’d be joined like this—that I couldn’t
leave any of myself behind.

In Trisha Brown’s Spanish Dance
a performer raises both arms like a bailora

and shifts her weight from hip to hip, knee
to knee, ankle to ankle, until she softly

collides with another dancer. The two travel
forward, pelvis to sacrum, stylized fingers

flared overhead, until they meet a third woman
and touch her back like stacked spoons.

Dressed in identical white pants and long
sleeves, the dancers repeat the steps

until, single file, five women shuffle
forward-they go no further.

The dance lasts the exact length of Bob Dylan’s
rendition of “Early Mornin’ Rain.”

How many versions of myself pile
into the others, arms lifted in surrender,

torsos twisting to the harmonica?
But the dancers—I’m moved by their strange

conga line. A train of women traversing
the stage, running gently into a wall.

Ama Codjoe