Paulette Beete Self-portrait as Baryshnikov’s Lover How do you hold on to a man with such disdain for gravity? It’s not that he’s out of my reach; it’s that it’s so difficult to reach him. Those mournful eyes hover over me like a hot-air balloon. I don’t know enough Russian to explain he has the Rapunzel story upsidedown. We are tethered by a frail string—true love. It is hard to know which kiss will be a scissor, which will be a knot. I would like to blame it on the language barrier, and it’s true, our bodies do not speak the same vernacular. He would like to tie me to his wrist. I would like to tie him to the curl of my back. It is true also that we cannot agree which language to use when we speak of absence. Or how to describe the difference between how his body hollows my bed and how my body hollows his bed. What is true: we can both walk gracefully from point A to point B. What is true: we can both walk gracefully together from point A to point B. What is true: we cannot agree on when to start or how long to take or what to do. It is difficult to hold on to a woman who has such disdain for the gravity of the situation. It’s not that she’s out of his reach. It’s that it’s so difficult to know if she wants him to reach her.
Crab Orchard Review