Renée E. D'Aoust
Renée E. D’Aoust’s Body of a Dancer (Etruscan Press) was a finalist for Foreword Review’s Memoir of the Year. Recent and upcoming publications include Ballet Review, Notre Dame Review, Rain Taxi, and Triquarterly Review. D’Aoust teaches online at Casper College and North Idaho College. For more information, please visit www.reneedaoust.com.
Festival events: 2014 AWP Seattle, 2014 a reading eXperiment Seattle, 2015 AWP Minneapolis, 2015 a reading eXperiment Minneapolis
Well, if you don’t clear out my way, you’ll be dead in two. I see it in your eyes. Black dots. I’ve seen black dots in eyes my whole life. I always tell the person so.
“Could be cancer,” I say in the checkout line.
“Might be Parkinson’s,” I say to my neighbor.
Saw my first boyfriend the other day. Red truck. Never did move beyond driving a red truck. “Going to be a car accident for you. T-bone. If you clear out, you’ll be okay. My way,” I say.
It’s very helpful to give hope to the black dot un-hopefuls. It’s hard for me seeing so right when others see so wrong. It’s hard, and I’m up front about that.
Saw my sister’s daughter, my niece, she doesn’t visit much, and I said, “You best clear out my way, or I think you’ll go blind.”
“Auntie,” she said, “Where does your knowing come from?”
“Always had it,” I say.
The night shift at the hospital helps, because when I’m organizing pills on the cart, I take a break, and I look at the patients, if they’re asleep. I can see where the black dots are in their bodies. Then I read the chart to see if my diagnosis matches. Usually does. If it doesn’t, I change the chart. Even a doctor needs a bit of help to stand vertical.
The hospital is beautiful at night. All those bodies waiting to love gravity like they’ve never loved it before.