I’ve been thinking about that summer – the one where we rehearsed for 12 hours a day in 100-degree rooms. The summer we built phrases and tore them down, made pieces of movement without knowing we’d have to discard them, fought against the air soup we layered on top of ourselves with our breath. All of us together, moving, sweating. You were the other half of my clipped-wing bird, you the hair I rested my head on, you the spine I knew with my belly. The choreographer said, Take care of each other, and we giggled, moved around the room to take turns kneading all that sore flesh. Gulped water – not enough – and warm air, cotton down our throats.
At night, our battered group of dancers made its way across the bridge. Salt from our bodies lay in wide, white streaks on our black clothes, belly salt, breastbone salt, shoulderblade salt, love handle salt, salt from someone’s spine. We were a bruise-heavy army of Lot’s wives, strong in number. How many you want? Fifty, thirty, ten righteous men? God wouldn’t have bothered asking, knew we’d lie, ruin all that ruin and save it all.