This is a poem in response to my mom's painting.
Her hips move
like a liquid pendulum,
one heel lifts, one knee bends,
one sudden look over her shoulder
glowers at the man seeping
through milky red light.
Arms float, hands flatten like stop signs,
then paddle through the scarlet fog
away from him.
The hem of her dress sways,
strains against the rhythm in her blood.
Shadowed eyelids are heavy, the body light.
When the music ends she will vanish
alone into the scorching white light
of the streets, rushing the dark alley.
In an empty apartment she'll slip
out of red silk and into nothing
until he comes.