A Playlike Poem
By Kimberley Gladney
Scene1:A crowded bar, live music, and people. A stage in the center of the room. A MC stands on top of it spitting lyrics. The crowd feels it. They bob their heads and wave their hands in the air like they just don’t care.
I even pretended to eat.
Who wears the mask, Mr Dunbar?
and I laughed to keep from crying.
I laughed to cry later.
Lines, what are my line?!?
Oh, yeah…. “I’m Fine” and “Everything’s going well”
The audience liked my delivery.
It was well received.
Yes, the crowd is pleased.
The crowd is deceived.
I am left relieved.
I am left in peace.
Scene2:a crowded bar, a DJ spins records, people are dancing. A table rests against the wall. He sat here once. I am remembering myself standing between his thighs freestyling him a love song. He felt it. He held me close and smiled.
My friends enter.
They know me.
Their eyes are kind but I detest pity.
They’ve played this part before.
What do you want to drink?
My timing’s off.
I’m trapped in memories, reality unbalances me.
I don’t want to be here with their knowing eyes
My grin is wobbly.
My eyes are watery.
a Jack with a splash of Coke, please.
“Thank you,” I say.
We know I’m not speaking of the drink.
They want to hug me.
They’ve played this role and we all know what happens next when the plot drops.
We taste the thickening.
“Will you be ok?”
(insert sardonic look here)
I don’t have to lie or convince.
“I will be eventually.”
I am not myself.
I am quiet.
I have little to say.
I am tired of pretending I think.
“I’m going home,” I say.
exit- stage left
My chariot awaits. Heroes are supposed to save but Superman has wounded me. I am his Kryptonite. He was never comfortable being weak. So he rode off into the sunset and star-crossed nightscapes. He thinks this will fix everything. He thinks this will help him forget me. He thinks he knows what’s best for 2 beings. He is trapped in his restrictions and rigidity. At least I’m free to bend and yield and compromise and change. He will be as he was yesterday. Not I, I will grow.
I feel no better for knowing.
(Scene1:)I am facing my door. The keyhole seems so small. I don’t fit here anymore. His shadow covers everything. My home was our place. He has desecrated my sanctuary.
The curtain closes.
I am home.
This is where I fall apart.
No applause, just tears.
The audience can’t hear.
The audience isn’t here.
It’s just me, The Isley Brothers, and a bottle of wine- Hello, it’s me.
“I take for granted that you’re always there
I take for granted that you just don’t care
Sometimes I can’t help seeing all the way through”
Album Version Here
Set myself on fire, anything to turn your head
I won’t deny this, I’m burning from the things you said
Now you got me running around and all that I have found is I can’t afford him
All I got is spare change cause he was my fortune
Had myself a lover, I liked him cause of all of the books that he read
And he was like no other boy that I had ever met before
And I loved all the things that he said
I wanted to heal him, I did not plan on staying as long
I didn’t think I would need him so how did he become
My, my, my
My torture, it’s always the sweetest thing
Where do I go? What do I do with this heart?
My torture, my torture
I want you to comfort me
I want you to stop disturbing my sleep
I really thought you were my king
I thought you were my king
I want it to stop hurting so bad
So bad, so so bad…