After Carmen Amaya
Her clapping hands tune the guitars to fever pitch.
Her boot heel moves as quickly
as a finch’s wing, making a sound like gun fire.
She glides across the plywood stage
then spins with the breath-taking violence
of a horsewhip. Now, she snaps into a slalom
from shoulder blade to hip. She keeps her hands
above her head, arms moving like charmed snakes.
The cameraman pans out. And now your own heart
is tightening: at the drum roll of her feet,
her stern precision, her bull fight with the air,
her brilliance recorded forever in black and white.
William Thompson is a PhD candidate in Creative Writing at the University of Bristol. Born in Cambridgeshire in 1991, his work has appeared widely in journals and anthologies. His debut pamphlet After Clare, is forthcoming with New Walk Editions.
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