Spirit Emerante/ Indran Amirthanayagam

In thought and prayer, off stage, in the air,

everywhere, Emerante de Pradine Morse,

dancer and singer in Port Au Prince

and New York, in the voices and steps

of children and grandchildren, in students

stepping through retinas, mixing visions

of Isadora Duncan and Martha Graham

adopted, adapted to vaoudou rhythms,

carnival inventions, by Emerante,

the dancer, your graceful step, stepping

up Oloffson stairs to share a coffee

with me and Richard on Thanksgiving,

a memory I frame here, in this objet d’art,

this gift. I recall we spoke of turkey

that day in Haiti. You said the bird

lay prepared at home, ready to eat.

You, a bird yourself, of a much lighter

species, rustling the air, almost foldable

in my hands. To honor you I will

exercise always, eat less meat, return

to those steps ready to genuflect

first then pirouette on a pin reciting

the words of this Emerante spirit passing.

–Indran Amirthanayagam, January 7, 2017

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