Under the Curtain


Crooked cardboard trees
drip their greens and blues
under the orange stage lights,
while beyond,
growling stomachs and proud shiny parents flicker.
The director slumps in the front row,
transforming us
into some small bundle of myth.
The air feels nervous,
tingles around us.
The pianist's stutter forecasts
all the tiny disasters to come.
Each seat faceless,
invisible,
the hush of the heavy red curtain rises,
and we cross into incandescence.
Words, once lifted
from scripts and sewn into our tongues,
now flutter in the heat
that radiates among the crowd,
in the whispers that rest on our shoulders,
that tell us we will be known.

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