Poetry: “En Pointe” by Samantha Jones

En Pointe

On a regular day
circles of skin detach
over pockets of fluid 
and toenails compress—
black and blue. 

On a bad day
the body feels retaliation 
that rivals the violence 
of breaking in 
new pointe shoes. 

Rounded edges hammered 
into the square box, 
shank snapped, sawed 
and split to three-quarters, 
the scraped and darned 
satin toe twisted in a 
splash of semi-dried soda. 

A softened and sticky shoe
made ready to grip the floor. 

My hands clutch the bar
a little too hard—my feet, 
are far from classical.
One relevé at a time
I jam these low arches
toward a standard 
they will never achieve. 

About Samantha Jones

Samantha Jones (she/her) lives and writes in Calgary, Alberta, Canada on Treaty 7 territory. Her poetry recently appeared in The Anti-Languorous Project, Blanket Sea, CV2, Grain, MixedMag, New Forum, Parentheses Journal, Room, and The /tƐmz/ Review. She is of mixed Black Canadian and European settler descent. Find her on Twitter: @jones_yyc.