i wrote this because i was sad and afraid

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.

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