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Stage Left

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I step forward and close my eyes,
Staring at the black, vast emptiness,
That is really just the inside of my eyelids.
Suck in a breath.
Blow it out.
The red curtain sways back and forth gently, daring itself to open,
To reveal me to the world.
Fingers curl, hands raise, and I nod.
Open the curtain, I think, opening my eyes
Just in time to watch it swing open.
I’m standing in front of hundreds of pairs of staring eyes.
Feeling naked and uncovered.
They blink slowly, watching.
The lone microphone looks up,
And nods at me, beckoning.
It bobs its head, luring me in.
Knees shaking, I step forward,
The heels of my shoes echoing in their endless ears.
My lips brush the microphone, scratching it.
It complains,
Clicking,
Echoing throughout the silent theater.
I lick my chapped, cracked lips,
And steady my shaking hands.
Then the little bird inside of my voice box,
Begins to sing.





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