"I Wanted To See What It Was Like"

Empty-seated actor walking
stage-left and
making mickey mouse movements
with his hands as he
twirls and jumps, and
stands and frownds
and finds himself delivering a monologue in front of his pals
but they're too busy being wooden,
and they're too busy being red
to notice that the actor's pen
can speak like the colors of the sky
at mission; going from light blue to
exploding orange, to pinks to purples
to bluers
to blacks.

And it was this constant color-change
that made him get on-stage
in the first place. He thought that even
if nobody showed
the empty chairs would listen.
The trees outside would listen.
The wind would blow——

He closed his eyes and saw the children playing grow
up to become uncomfortable benches,
And deafened leaves on broken branches.

He doused himself in gasoline.
The actor set himself on fire.

by Angel Neri

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