who are you this time?

being on stage gave you
something unfamiliar thrilling
a feeling of being seen
accepted approved the bright
lights in your eyes cast
the audience’s gaze in shadow
you knew you were there
studying you the intense glow
the lekos and fresnels softened
your gaze in contrast to
the harsh stares you felt
from the anonymous critics
of society even the lacrid smell
of the slow burning of the
lighting gels gave you

you were always nervous
on stage to the degree
of being able to taste
its bitterness
it fueled you gave you
the energy necessary
to project your character’s
inner life real enough
for you to see and feel
its truth you never understood
why but being on stage
provided you a comfort
within your body
an ability to posture
to move with ease
with confidence best of all
the applause which sated your
longing your desperate need
for approval however
fleeting it
might be