stands between two black curtains,
ropes and pulleys running to the ceiling
like the rigging of a ship delivering far-fetched tales
to a land hungry for narrative escape.
Parapets and drawbridges float above his head,
scenery constructed by the author of all things below.
He listens to lines of dialogue recited on
counting the beats, measuring each iambic strobe of life
before inhaling and stepping across wooden boards
into the terrible and glorious lights of
“The troops have arrived, m’lord!”
And then he is gone, sequestered in a dressing room
before being turned loose at the stage
A bus lumbers by, and he waves away exhaust
with a hand that moments earlier wore a white glove
and gestured to a prince of some dire warning
At home, he sits on a couch in front of the TV
and surveys white cartons from a Chinese takeout
arranged like a small fortress waiting for
Tomorrow he will get a call from the author of all things below
as do we all before stepping into a world hungry for narrative,
having waited in the wings for our cue to
swell a scene
and tend to matters most mundane but necessary to the show.