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Gasping at the West End

Each night

we slip into that curtained world

theater for an audience of one

like embryos in soft-feathered eggs


Acts follow one another

pages torn from different scripts


In one, we’re in a princess’s entourage

touring the alleys of her medieval world

where bustling bazaars echo fanfares

hints of incense, gold and silver

mingle across our eggshell screens


Suddenly without an intermission

we’re in a dentist’s chair, where he

and his midget brother take turns

wrenching our teeth with some

hideous blunt instrument


Then we’re lazing on a chaise longue

with some quite unidentifiable character

of the opposite sex who slowly gets

undressed and kisses the inside

of our eyelids


And as we strain to recognize this person

whom we know we should know

but we don’t, disappearing now in a wisp

of a thousand scented nights

so close yet so distant, as we reach out

to touch – the light of morning

sears our view and we are left

gasping at nothing


Until only a faint memory of loss remains

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© Johnmichael Simon



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