‘Zsófia at the Ballet Barre’ by Ilona Martonfi

Swathe yourself in knit warm-ups. Unschooled. Clumsy, naïve,

Step into the illusion, into the nothing, Zsófia. Black painted walls and the ballet
barre, dim and dusty attic loft. Rose-pink tulle skirt. Glissando. Disembodied.
Dancing en pointe. I wonder if that girl still exists as you were on that day, Zsófia?
Large round windows, with a view of Montmartre. Paris. 18ème arrondissement.
Bringing the body chaotic. Flattened, angular choreography. Simple, least beautiful
gestures, I am touching your face. You say, I am cold and distant. Innocence. Dark and
purity sides. Consumed by light. Nameless. Questions. Because I drew you into my
madness. Daughter, how can this be? Swan-maiden as mortal woman.


ILONA MARTONFI is the author of three poetry books, Blue Poppy (Coracle Press, 2009), Black Grass (Broken Rules Press, 2012) and The Snow Kimono (Inanna Publications, 2015). Forthcoming, Salt Bride (Inanna, 2019) and The Tempest (Inanna 2020). Founder and Artistic Director of The Yellow Door and Visual Arts Centre Readings. QWF 2010 Community Award.

Copyright © 2019 by Ilona Martonfi. All rights reserved.