Can these movements which move themselves
be the substance of my attraction?
Where does this thin green silk come from that covers my body?
Surely any woman wearing such fabrics
would move her body just to feel them touching every part of her.
Yet most of the women frown, or look away, or laugh stiffly.
They are afraid of these materials and these movements
in some way.
The psychologists would say they are afraid of themselves, somehow.
Perhaps awakening too much desire—
that their men could never satisfy?
So they keep themselves laced and buttoned and made up
in hopes that the framework will keep them stiff enough not to feel
the whole register.
In hopes that they will not have to experience that unquenchable
desire for rhythm and contact.
If a snake glided across this floor
most of them would faint or shrink away.
Yet that movement could be their own.
That smooth movement frightens them—
awakening ancestors and relatives to the tips of the arms and toes.
So my bare feet
and my thin green silks
my bells and finger cymbals
offend them—frighten their old-young bodies.
While the men simper and leer—
glad for the vicarious experience and exercise.
They do not realize how I scorn them;
or how I dance for their frightened,
Diane Wakoski's Other Poems
Read this poem in other languages
This poem has not been translated into any other language yet.
Comments about this poem (Belly Dancer by Diane Wakoski )
- Stars Studded the Sky (cinquain), Harindhar Reddy
- Waltz of a Dream, Nathalie Handal
- La Movida, Nathalie Handal
- Scary and Nightmarey Ghost Walked, Harindhar Reddy
- I give You the Love of Calla-lily, Harindhar Reddy
- Captured In Chambers Of My Heart, Narayana Raghavan
- Beauty Revisited, Narayana Raghavan
- Santiago, Nathalie Handal
- Limerick-36, DEEPAK KUMAR PATTANAYAK
- Nightened Color, RoseAnn V. Shawiak
Poem of the Day
(March 26, 1874 – January 29, 1963)
(26 April 1564 - 23 April 1616)
(4 April 1928 - 28 May 2014)
- Heather Burns
Andrew Barton Paterson
(17 February 1864 – 5 February 1941)
(1886 - 1967)
(1 February 1902 – 22 May 1967)
(12 July 1904 – 23 September 1973)