unscripted, this thespian is unshielded and naked.
the curtains, they’re stuck, they won’t fall so
i’m left standing, stricken, in front of an applauding audience
and they don’t stop.
my cheeks stiffen and my lips crack from the sustained smiles,
i bow and bow and bow until my back contorts like a nervously chewed up straw.
i never realized that this is a performance.
my vision is bleached from the onslaught of unkind spotlights and
i’m crying but they think my tears are glitter that adorn my eyelids.
the corset’s strangling the breath from my spirit,
but the flowers keep being thrown my way—
bravo bravo encore bravo!
they don’t hear me and speak to me in roses,
so the blood their thorns draw from my fingertips—i take, and smear on my lips
to make sure my lipstick aways remains bold, fierce and pretty.
that’s the only way i can fight
this illusion into the whispers of midnight,
even when the feathery winds curl around and lift
discarded ticket stubs from the pavement
to a place we don’t talk about.
if i can’t make them disappear then let me.