The actress stands, arms outstretched,
her song for the hero trailing from her lips,
then almost by will alone pulls them back,
to her chest, to her breaking heart.
The lights dim, the orchestra hushes.
The audience collectively sighs, shifts,
then applauds enthusiatically, their thrall
broken into shards of sound propelled
by slapping hands.
And after they are packed away
in their luxurious vehicles, feeling
stirred and deep and worthy patrons,
she stands there still, grief-locked
knees trembling and eyes appealing.
But no one is there. Velvet curtains
sway, scenery ropes creak, and the
lady pleads to the air, a silent prayer.