Waltz of the Flowers

by Mir-Yashar Seyedbagheri


            When she dances to “Waltz of The Flowers” she transforms into a lilac. She’s beautiful, but not too much so. When she dances, she doesn’t see the Tsar, the thousands of faces. She’s no one’s daughter or sister, gazing into audiences with fixed expectations. She’s not home listening to her father lecture her on the importance of marrying into money, while his champagne-filled tempests wreck havoc on their stately apartment. She’s not enduring sleepless nights, dreaming about her little brother Misha, in Siberia again, after disseminating leaflets, leaflets burning with revolution and ardor and liberation and destruction. She dances without shame, without the weight of family weighing her down, like a barge on the Neva. She dances for herself tonight, her mind drifting to a higher place, a plateau above the voices competing for hate, love, everything in between. Her mind drifts gently with the music, the grace of Tchaikovsky’s lush score.

            She floats above the Neva, streaked by the moon. The Winter Palace. People are all specks, whom she can look down upon and smile at. She can drift freely, the air her immense stage. She can twirl in the moonlight. The night is hers.

            When the ballet’s over, she’ll be Tatiana. Tonight, she can accept that, holding onto this moment, as fragrant and graceful as a lilac.


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