18 April 2009

p.a.d. 2

Stage Fright

All morning I’ve been stuck
between curtain up and blackout,
pulsing in and out between a stage of bright lights
where the air smells of antiseptic,
and a pile of stones by the shore of a stretch of dark velvet
I’m supposed to believe is the sea.
I’ve never had a gift for ad lib,
especially in this non-life
where the pace is all wrong.

I should have made my exit
when I had the chance,
before they swarmed over me
hovering in their blue paper robes
wearing faces like masks,
lips curved in unnatural shapes,
don’t worry.
close your eyes.
you won’t feel a thing.

The worst scene doesn’t take place
in the operating theatre, but after,
trudging through the anesthesia
of so many costume changes.
I lose all sense of direction
before coughing and opening my eyes,
no deus ex machina,
just a buzzing yellow light
pulled close to my face
and an audience
at the edge of my bed.

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