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.

SIT DOWN, PAIR UP

two white dresses at a wedding will command stares. 
a change of outfit is not granted; 
there are so many skeletons in my closet
that i can’t tell my backbones from belts. 

i can choose to smile and wave like i 
have always,
a rag doll pinned onto a cork board to be 
sliced, diced, and everything nice. 

to iron out my incompatibilities,
a creaseless palm clutching the smallest of 
infinities that persuade me to let go of
cards that no longer serve purpose

for i am a temporary tattoo,
the last page of a calendar, 
counting down to when i won’t fit the 
occasion anymore