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'This Thing Called Life'

Poetry Inspired by the
Music and Spirit of Prince

Prince Rogers Nelson


Shawn Aveningo Sanders

About the Poet

Shawn Aveningo Sanders's poems have appeared in over one hundred literary journals and anthologies.

She’s a Pushcart Prize nominee, co-founder of The Poetry Box, and a managing editor of The Poeming Pigeon.

Aveningo Sanders is a proud mother of three and shares the creative life with her husband in Portland, Oregon.

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Spring 2017 »

Forever 19
by Shawn Aveningo Sanders

There is a place
where I am forever nineteen,
a place where I can tell my body how to move,
and it follows without creaking –
  point your toes, arch your back,
a little more, now reach with your fingertips
to scratch the moon.

There is a place
where I can sense the dancers
who came before me, their sweat
locked between coats of varnish.
I glide my palms across the cool
smooth surface, legs straddled
stretching, reaching closer
to myself in the studio mirror.

There is a place
where a torn day-glo sweatshirt
dripping off my shoulder,
is the preferred uniform of the day,
along with flesh-tone fishnets
and capezios so broken-in, I can see the outline
of salt-stained toes in the worn leather.
There is a place
where the artist formally known as Prince
sings Baby I’m A Star, and with one sip
of metallic, lukewarm water
from the corner drinking fountain,
and another day of pas de bourree – jetté – plié,
I believe
I really can be.


Shawn Aveningo Sanders ~




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