by Tiffany Chan
You’re golden. In your sweet promises and pink starbursts, colours that light up and make your heart flutter like shoujo anime. You’re the belle at every ball. Suitors lined up in a row, you dance and twirl all night. Mask of ages and expectations papier-mâchéd together, gold on white and black on gold, enticing yet revered. Dress unfurling like a morning glory with every spin. Ame-no-Uzume, whose dance brought light back to the world.
You have spat on my heart. And I know I am not the first.
Over and over, your shoes cemented in dance have knocked me to the cold marble floor, and only now do I see the bruises you’ve left. To you, all is unimportant but the one you reside with, behind closed doors- bound with lock and key. Like your parents before you, twin diamonds face the world hand in hand. Only; as the bubbling champagne trickles down, desperation and expectation have you now steel-trapped in circles of choreographed steps; as flowers and letters and friendship bracelets flutter to the floor like cherry blossoms in the winter snow; a rite of passage. Though I knock on the door, a friend, not a lover, affords no key. I have no place in your stone palace and iron gates brushed in gold, adorned with ivory and vine. For the face under the mask and the heart in my throat had feathers where scales should be.
Now I stand out by the river, singing along with the orchestra’s muffled tune. Leaning against the white marble column, laughing with my friends as they splash in the water. Your dance glows gold, beautiful as ever, but I now know I am free to dance if I wish and only if I wish. Even if I don’t, I don’t have to be alone. I can be content with the wind and the river, and my friends, should they wish to come along.