Hell in a Dance Company

A dancer is on stage,

En l’ air,

But then she falls.



She is unable to stay where she has been,

She is taken from the life she knows.


Her vision blurs,

With sweat in her eyes,

Others moving past in a fog.


She feels the support of another,

The heartbeat,

The calming voice.


She stands,

Seeing for the first time,

Where she has been all along.


She recognizes those surrounding her as what they are,

And sees those farther for their faults,

Everyone is new.


Those closest to her,

The Gluttons,

Never satisfied with anything.


Never happy,

Concerned with only their next part,

Their costumes.


She hears the Beslavers,

Those who flatter her still now,

Even in her failure.


She sees their unhappiness,

They can never be honest again,

For fear that they won’t be loved.


Those trying to hide their giddiness,

The Envious,

Those who wanted her part.


They glare at those who were once their friends,

A gap between them,

Created by want for what they do not have.


The smug looks

On the faces of the Narcissists,

Those who knew they would not have fallen.


With loneliness that nothing can hide,

Left behind,

By those who don’t want their vanity.


The emptiness

Of Deceivers,

Never showing the truth.


They wander through their friends,

The truest torture of all,

Watching as they turn away from the lies.


This is the dancers’ hell,

Never knowing what to think,

Never knowing who to trust.


(Author's Note: This poem was written to reflect Dante's Inferno, with references to the nine circles of hell in a ballet company.)


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