The Ballerina in the Attic by Amanda N. Butler
In an attic forgotten,
white sheets blanket sofas and seats
concealing the upholstery’s golden embroidery –
the shape of a dormant astrolabe
silhouetted in shadow –
in a corner forgotten,
a life-sized doll sits
with dust in her eyes,
a faded stare toward
the rusted bolt
jutting from her point shoe –
protruding from her cobweb and copper
shoulder blades, a clockwork key.
Her own music, if it could still play,
would give her nightmares
of abandoned carousels
and ivy crawling across
A crack in the faded
rouge of her cheek
reveals a crevice
with contours of cranks and springs,
the ripped tulle at her hip
interlace with spider corpses.
The lace at her neck has loosened –
and her costume,
once a vibrant hue,
now a transmutation of gray and yellow.
the oil inside her no longer burns,
her steam no longer breathes –
If awake, she would long
for the day to dance again.
Amanda N. Butler is the author of chapbooks “Tableau Vivant” (Dancing Girl Press, 2015) and “