Dusty velvet curtains

I walk off the stage.
The lights go out.
The crowd goes silent,
then starts to speak,
And begins to panic.
They mill around,
Trying to find their way out.

I cross over to the curtains,
Duck between them and the wall,
And wrap myself
In warm velvet darkness.
The too-loud sounds
of many people pushing,
Fighting to reach the doors,
Are muffled here,
In this safe place.

Security guards
sweep into the theater,
Bringing with them sudden light.
The crowd quiets for a moment,
And asks, calmer now, for a way out.
The guards let them file out slowly.
Each will be questioned
before being allowed to leave.
It is the usual procedure.

This is not the first time I have done this,
Waiting for the guards
To catch me, find me.
They have been looking for
Many weeks now.
They have brought in the best,
Followed leads,
Leading them to-
Always nothing.

They never find me.
Why should they?
When I needed them,
They did nothing.

Sometimes I ache,
I /burn/,
To come out of the shadows,
Let them see me,
Let them find me.
Somehow I doubt they would,
Inept as they are.

They would look straight through me.