Body Crossing #2: A response by Sara Zalek

image credit: Verónica Rodríguez (Veroñiki Rodz)

De Li Be Ra Te, by Alba Soto and Sarah Gottlieb took place in a home/gallery/internet situation UnLock Hause, called 3rd Opening: Sensoryscapes Sensory Escape in Bridgeport. Even though it is a long trek for me from the Northwest side, more and more I have been making the journey either by bike, by bus/train/walk, by Uber, by half rides and friends with cars. I say it’s worth it.

Revision #2: Body Crossing

We sat in piles on strewed diagonals of couches, tables, radiators, laps, and floor…leaving one half of the room clear for the performance we were about to witness. Settling in, people stepping over each other with offers of drinks or food were delivered happily. The spread here was amazing, and Alba and friends made us all feel at home, as if Spain was our true home. Small talk bubbled then dimmed, silenced, then bubbled again. I was in on a small secret–the ladies would enter from the closet, which was jammed in by one of the couches and standing bodies flattening against the wall. The place behind my ears perked and I waited. Then, the breathing started.

Enter fast breathing
Two bodies head to head and resisting. One another, then everyone around.
All of us forced to
squeeze in
a little tighter.

Fast breathing accelerates
Above the tug push/pull of beneath the push/pull
The sign slow appeared, carried by these structures, once bodies.
As if on a
Wave, trembling
a r c hing.

A long tool (carpet banger) erupts a sliver bowl on the floor. Clang.
bodies entangled, crossing. Then appears the mask,
the smile,
the shake that began,
it kept going, on going.

until the smile became a grimace,
asking only to be witnessed.

Someone next to me grabbed my hand and squeezed. I squeezed back.
The shaking went on for a long time.
Tense moments
until,

From behind her entered the soft comfort of partner, pressed on the back with a cheek.
This is what feeling feels like, I feel.

A dream later told me what she felt, as she squeezed her breasts to her chest,
asking with her whole body, was some call for help, not as a victim, but as a warrior.