The shadow stands without,
Encased in glass, unseen but watching –
Wishing, longing – in darkness dreaming
Of other roles, of relationships, of talents,
Of participation and its receipt
(Of laughter, applause, and envy)
At the same time, a step on that stage,
The thought alone, brings fear unending –
Shaking, screaming – in silence crying
Of possibilities, of dreams, of fates,
Of inevitable horrors and their dooms
(Of silence, coldness, and jeers)
The parade of nightmares cycles and grows
And spins with wishes in a turbulent rage
Keeping the shadow from the stage
Without a superficial skin – a face,
An act – an appealing role with flare and grace:
The perfect mask for the out of place.
A deep breath, as though the air is anesthesia,
Numbing impatience and irritation when applied to the lungs.
Another chance, another breath, and still the temper grows
As if the dosage is too low, too weak or watered-down
Or as if the rage and annoyance have grown immune,
Built up a tolerance with each breath, each attempt
Until the eruption becomes inevitable.
Passage made by Nature:
A riverscape of streets
Through buildings made for drier days
Like cookies crumbling in the heat
An island made of shifting stones –
Sanctuary with a side of fear
A perch amidst the city’s bones:
There shouldn’t be a Venice here.
A vertical world
Now rewritten, restructured
Without matching skills
I flinch from the
Neon glare of the reasoning
Error: Has it truly been missed or has
Xanadu’s illusory appeal overridden its
Precedence? Has survival bred this need, this
Longing for ignorance when it aides a goal
In spite of eventual retribution by that same willfully
Concealed flaw, a trap of their own creation.
Antithetical to reason, to self preservation, yet
Barring an improbable epiphany, the
Lingering conflict will be cast on another –
Error mortared to error by determined ignorance
Like a paused VHS, life resists the hold,
Squirming and stuttering against its grasp:
Time’s influence pushing and pulling.
Move! The same strings that pull you up
Now bind you in a fierce, unfriendly grip:
Frozen in constant motion.
Dust does not dull the pen
Though the ink may stutter,
Resisting first contact with the page,
But, like muscles cold from disuse,
It warms as the pen skips and flies
Until words flow as if never still.