Sarah White

Merce Cunningham’s Late Creations

When he could flex no more
his knees or toes, and his limbs
no longer engaged
in on-stage expression,

he performed
another daily exercise, not
at the barre as before,
but with paper and pencil,

doing God’s job,
forming his own
creatures, one a day—
rhino, titmouse, bonobo—

birds at their angles of flight, dogs
in ecstasies of scent, the
large and little cats
in savannah pajamas,

striped like a rainbow
from A to blue,
swinging up to Harlem,
down to Soho.

Sarah White is a former professor who doesn’t teach French Literature any more but instead divides her time between poetry and painting.