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.

when you said no

discord sown in the fields of my own mind
grow to be weeds, strangling the little seedlings
that cry for renewal, for a fresh breath,
gulping down the last yolk of sunshine for supper.

they tell me that it’s all in my own head:
a mass of tissue and neurons entangled with
the steady beat of my soul, stretching and contracting
like train couplers reconciling cabins that will never touch

all the time, I think about your typicality,
yet having to think implies mystery.
how is it that you never look at yourself in mirrors,
given how you’re so god damn beautiful?
why have I never tasted pretence in your voice,
but have only heard the purest thoughts, organic and
yours alone?

some questions will always be questions.
thus I, deciding whether these are tears or raindrops,
stagger back into eden, crawling
back into the soil of late winter,
retracting my roots in the wait for rebirth next spring.