Siobhan Rene – The Lovers

The week before our second burlesque performance, my beloved dropped me: head down, in a position that would have meant at least a 3 foot plummet on the real stage. At some point during our months of practice, we stopped having fun. I had injured my shoulder repeating the intense acrobatic poses. Moments before the fall, we’d had our first serious argument.

As a result of our stressful time together, we felt tension mounting in our other polyamorous relationships. We forgot why we dance in the first place; we needed to figure out how to reconnect in our routine. Our relationship depended on it.

We lit incense and candles. We grounded and sat opposite one another. In sacred space, we stated our intentions for the performance and for ourselves: presence, release, joy. Many things. We cried. We promised to dance our love for the world every moment until the final note of our song. We vowed that with the last pose we would let our joy and excitement shoot up toward the sky. We remembered our rituals.

It was our ‘Lovers’ moment – mirroring intent, spiritual twins, consciously choosing to connect to one another and to the divine. The next time we braced, body to body, in our most difficult counterbalance, was the first time our breath was deep and synced. It anchored us to the ground and stretched us out into the fullness of the pose.

We are not the choice between lovers from the Tarot de Marseilles. We are the yin and yang of the Margarete Petersen: charming the Kundalini snake from our depths and choosing between realities, not people.

After the show I wrote a poem:


One second we take gravity, excitement, and each other for granted; the blissful union of our constructs of one another and our craving of attention, the air-in-the-head naivety that only an impostor can give you. It is not love. Yet it feels good enough to get you high, up out of the grime of the real world: present moment, our bodies. We believe the hype. We think we really breathe rainbows and see joy and know one another. Reality kicks in after the fall. Genuine fear cloaks us. We share it more intimately than any flower-filled concept our childhoods taught us and humility is the fur lining. For the first time we share something real and we are warm in it, noticing our deep dragon breaths and the way that it stokes the fire within. It keeps us going. We keep us going, not empty promises or serotonin silk over the eyes. Our bodies touching; skin, sweat, grit, our wills meet in these details and we find our way through, shoulder blade to quadricep, finger pads to ankle bone, sole to sacrum, palm to palm. We turn our attention from our shallow thoughts to our connecting cells. We live the meaning of each moment, we breathe respect for it, and each other, limb by limb, in our acrobatic grips. We’ve learned what our coming together costs.