She looks like she’ll be the oldest person in the theater tonight,
yet she rolls down the aisle as if she were younger than any of them.
Reading the Playbill synopsis, she sees that the tale
is one she knows well, based on an old story out of time immemorial,
and although the names of the characters have changed,
the play will still end the same way.
We peep out from behind the curtain, and realize
she’s the only audience we have.
How stupid of us to think that our performance
would be attractive to anyone. No. Our reviews are in.
We’ve been panned. Our performance stinks so badly
we’ll surely close tonight. It’s shameful.
That we’re going on at all is the most delusionary self-aggrandizement.
We’ve put on a flop, but we’re too caught up in ourselves,
too egocentric, too anthropocentric,
to acknowledge how terribly we’ve acted, how horrible we are.
How should we rectify the matter before it’s too late?
Wring our hands, perhaps?
Although this might feel like a singular tragedy to them,
for her, this is merely history repeated, example umpteenth.
They think they might kill her with their performance,
but in reality, she is killing them. It’s far too late. The show must go on.
These poor players, alas, will lie lifeless on the stage
when the final curtain falls, and she, she alone
will leave the theater alive and go on in her orbit,
waiting for the curtain to rise on her next drama.