Confessions of the Stage-Hand

All the world's a stage,

And all the men and women merely players:

They have their exits and their entrances;

And one man in his time plays many parts

William Shakespeare's " As You Like It"

'

I am the man who plays no part

I am your stage-hand

You graze me when stardust

Shatters off at the end

of applause and

the world retires;

When you need the silences

To unburden sins;

What is your confession?

'

I carry the weight of

your many facades;

Your credence (and mine) in

Cosmetic expressions, Skins

swathed inside suitcases

bulging with stale sweat,

our secretly-shared

experiences, rehearsed

and rehearsed again

---which are the moments

you never showed on-stage?

'

Without knowing why,

You reach blindly for me when

Not propped up by tables

(and dresses and semi-nudity)

Hush

Put the microphone away

when you ask something of me;

(They must never know why

you are not shatter-proof)

I can hear these lines:

Memorized, as well as you

'

At curtains' call

You are in the light and I am

Hidden behind red velvet folds

watching, deep from the

recesses that gagged you

Your prowess is an

Enveloping sphere, enthralling,

Clearly sexual; characteristically

Specific. But I am

Harmlessly androgynous,

Lethal. Empowered

Because you do not fear me

'

I love you most

You, without your selves,

Each perfected, scripted

Gesture measured and judged

By the ink of playwrights

When you learn to strip away,

At last, the truths

you gather scrupulously,

uselessly from the unruly mob

'

(Aside, in the wings)

when you are mine and

mine

Alone

'

I have no part; for which I demand

No acknowledgement

I am forgettable; unworthy

Of spotlights or

transfixed ovations

My only part to play

Is to love you

as much as I can;

'

As

silently

as I can