Ballet Macabre

November 5, 2012

By Traci-Ann Wint


Forgive me.

She fell into an abyss that had nothing to do with me –

an unabashed misery paralleled by none but my own.

For you know, misery loves company.

Her air –


The medicinal benefits of laughter have no place here.

Joy is for the carefree

and our combined burdens were more than the world could hold.


on the unreliable axis of dependent friendship,

waltzes lose their beauty

when pirouettes


She presented her bruises

and I spun us both into madness,

casting useless language into her whirlwind of pain.

I knew no cures

but I couldn’t let her bleed



Unbraced, unbalanced


en route to relevé,

we stood together

cursing the world,

loving each other,



that we had to learn again to love.

And somewhere in the loving

I let her


Far from her, I, unwilling, fled

And I promised never to forget

her, why, we

but I did.

Self-consumed with mapping the contours

of what for her was more than a stage

I stumbled off into the wings

and she lay waiting


in the blurred depths of my



Do you remember us?

Do you remember how we?


Please remember me before the


of watching you deteriorate,

of not knowing,

of being


in the face of your shame and terror.

Guilt, for the not doing of something

we both know

I couldn’t

have the same passion as you.

You crashed somewhere on your

grand jeté


the moon,

who promised me she’d tell you

that I am not


is a word too complex for my vocabulary.

Because with all that I think and know and specuate and say

I do not know what to be sorry for.

For with all that I think and know and speculate and say

I know not what to be sorry for.


So all I ask is that if someday our paths meet again

you will recognize your footprints

and forgive me.


Traci-Ann Wint is a doctoral student in the Anthropology department at the University of Texas at Austin.  Her research focuses on colonial nostalgia, tourism, discipline and issues of citizenship and stasis in Jamaica.  She received her BA from Vassar College in 2007 and then spent some time working as a television producer and as a project manager with a non-profit organisation before returning to the world of academia.  She hails from Kingston, Jamaica.

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