Upside down in a dance class this morning, I remembered I get nauseous when the earth rises to meet me. So, instead, I sat. And then the world settled. And everything made more sense.  

When I was 22, I came to New York because it meant something. And because I wanted to make it. Dance classes were fifteen dollars, less if you knew your way around the scene.  

Now, I’m no longer seen in the same ways as then. And I see differently too. All these people, I continuously muse. Each with their own whole world of baggage.  

In the dressing room after class, two elder women stretch. Earlier, I’d noticed one of them briefly naked, and I smiled to see her body still making its way through. Her skin. Her breasts.  

Now, in yellows and peaches, she snaps at her friend. The divorce? Oh, I’m not gonna talk about that! Her friend (a bit of an asshole, really) asks why. I slip out before the answer.  

But, good grief lady, we’re paying to play at twenty-five dollars a class and, lord knows, none of us know how much time we have left. So, what do you say—let’s just keep pressing forward.  

Hi poets! It’s been so great to write with you this month. I wanted to pass along a fun idea for a final prompt from fellow poet, Virginia Woolf Bailey. Last summer she wrote a “self cento.” Typically, a cento pulls together lines from other poets. She personalized this by pulling one line from each of her own poems from the month and creating a new collaged poem of her own lines. I was inspired and tried it myself last year. It’s so revealing! A second layer of truth in your own work—or a new spin in a different direction.

I can’t remember if I kept the same line breaks or played with picking phrases and doing different lineation. I think the second. The less rules the better because it’s already pretty hard to synthetize so much writing! If you have questions, feel free to post in the comments. And I look forward to reading your work for the rest of the month. Cheers! (And thanks Virginia!!)