Before leaving the stage for the last time
the dancer takes off
her feet. She sets them at the lip

of the stage, dismantling
that odd business
of mouth. Next,

the petal hip-bones, the
knee, the throat. Vertebrae
fall like stones, follow her

onto the subway.

There are many ways
to leave a place. Certain salmon

never leave
completely, swallow their town
names beneath

their tongues.
In the wind, a call. In salt.
In stones. They fin through

abyssal like night trains.

A man on her train-car
has ridden it

for ninety days, left
the Overland Express
only to find himself still

walking. In odd motels, the customers
complain of noise; dynamiters
pacing in the dark.

The salmon return to mate
and die. The stage is lit.
From the third

wing, two arms lilt up
from the wrist. She will learn
to move without

her body.
We are never not
learning how.