I wake. Val’s feet are shoulder wide. Weight low.
Fists at her waist, turned up and loosely clenched.
Her blond hair is combed slick and braided tight.
Eyes closed. She begins to move as through oil.
Right step back. Left knee bent. Hips, core, shoulders,
Elbows and hands follow like fluid, pause,
And rewind through the first stance to the next,
Smooth as clouds, strong as weather, a river
Over shined rocks. Hands like prayer, sharp as beaks,
Inviting, deflecting, hard as hammers.
She raises fingers toward the rising sun,
Snaps a foot to her palm, repeats, repeats,
Repeats left right, returns roundhouse, windmill,
Front and axe-kick. Stalls, knee to chest. Breath deep
Through her gut to the earth. Whirls the backfist
To the straight left. Snapping air. Bursts of voice.
Soaring over the grass on liquid feet
Sweeping low, striking high, heels of hands flash
At unseen jaws. She stomps with a grunt. Stops.
Feet shoulder wide. Weight low. Open blue eyes.