tender feet
tiptoe in delicate fashion

striking precise balance upon
scuffed wooden floors
where countless dancers keep time
across decades that
wear themselves thin
stretched threadbare in faded peach patches
traced along shoes en pointe
where bruised toes and cracked feet 
press rhythmically into crust-laden blood droplets
drying hidden beneath gracefully elongated limbs
that strike poses in dirty mirrors 
whose intense stares reflect upon movement where
nothing is safe to hide