prance on stage
soaked
in liquid gumption and
ill-fated patience
as you demand space
from everyone you love
to chase.

combat boots and rehearsed coquetry,
arachnid skin and other problems;
you smile and prune,
master the art
of legal thievery.
(we take any card)
but try to understand the difference
of black behind barbed wire
and your pale ballroom cage,
understand the difference in shades;
your lights twinkle even in your
disengagement.
some live in solitary confinement
and you live publicly to abate
your victims in your spotlight,
you twirl and breathe
effortlessly and they wait.
understand self-started oppression
is the misery you keep.
you are already
free.

you longed to be the martyr
hung for your transgressions;
to save the world of guilt
you became your own killer,
your own pursuer,
your own outrage.
but who did you accidentally
murder along the way?
there is blood everywhere you step,
and it seems you have several
stained cobwebs
to sweep before your
cage is clean;
before you’re burst from
cocoon,
before you earn those
equatorial wings.
but you were hasty in your
amends, so God
demands you
wait.

there is nothing left to do
but watch where you step
as you walk across each
stage.

“stages”

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