by Athena M. Henderson
Six ballerinas dance on the wall of my cell
dance into my solitary confinement.
Each has black hair pulled back, glossy.
Each has fierce, brown eyes.
The sashes around their waists are pink.
White tulle flows around them
as they pirouette across splashes of
crimson, cobalt, and jade.
Sitting on the floor
my back against the wall
having not been allowed to sleep for six days
my feet swollen and beaten
for my opposition to dictatorship
I see now
the ballerinas shimmer in colors
more vibrant than I’ve ever seen before.
I wish I had canvas, oils, and a brush
so I could paint them.
I wish I had a pair of pink ballet shoes
so I could dance.