Wednesday, April 10, 2013

Closing Night (No. 9, NaPoWriMo 2013)

Closing Night
By Hannah Six

That's it, show's over.
Curtain closed, lights off,
He tells himself. You fool.
You stupid, lousy optimistic fool.
Disdainful smirk and pitying
Shake of the head, as
He climbs the long, sloping aisle,
Intricately tiled in various colors
Of dust and fog;

His heels, reverberating
In the cavernous space,
Tap-tap-tapping at his back,
Like a bad dream
You just can't shake,
Even hours after
You wake in a cold sweat,
Shrouded in your
Damp, clutching sheets.

The audience's collective gasp--
A few thin cries from
Would-be damsels furtively longing for distress--
Echoes, otherworldly, in his ears.
And he knows without knowing
That, years later,
He will still hear
The body
Hit the stage,
A rolling thunk, like a camel
Falling to its knees.

Later, at closing time,
In a dun-hued haze
Of smoke and Maker's,
He slaps the empty tumbler
Down in a puddle of sour
Bar-rag water,
Swipes at the stains with his fist,
And tries to forget:

The proud straightness
Of her back.
The silver bracelets slicing
The tender, sparrow-flesh
Of her wrists.
("I told you I wasn't worth the effort.")
And his parting glance--
Branded on his mind
With the clarity that tells a man
He'll never stop regretting,
Never be able to forget--
At her name,
Those letters, scattered across
Her dressing room door,
Like fairy dust
Sprinkled by
A vengeful Godmother.


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