Inspired by the song Carnival by Natalie Merchant

I am the audience

in a room full of unrealized actors

poured into costumes

they describe as routine.

The woman before me

spills her script in front of her

and she scrambles to pick up

each tub of bright red verbs

while the room swarms around her.

The frantic fingers to get back together

before the crowd eyes swirl around 

and devour up her silhouette

before they pull the nervous threads

at the edge of her jacket.

And I am on my knees,

pull in each panic coin into my palms

stacking her every tear into hands.

I find the vocabulary of my role

in this play, and when I look up

for the woman.

She is no longer.

It is only me in the swarm of eyes.

They zero into my face

to feed off the fear in my gaze.

I suck in the air from the room

and hold up the panic coins

to pay my toll 

for this audience.

One thought on “Audience

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