Rise, Darling. Rise.

A loud gathering

Mardi Gras in the rain
Noise, noise—so much noise
Too much noise
The crowd exploding with applause

The curtains parted as curtains do
A hush, a whisper, a gasp—inquisitive stares
Mmmm finally…silence
Sweet, sweet quiet of night
A single tear fell but a smile began to rise

Ttt-hhh-Tut-Tut-Tut Rapture came
They came to see a swan transcend
This was no goddess but her Kaali friend
Feathers of black emerging from pores
You are free, Darling, but don’t just fly—Nay,
Soar, Soar

From a crumbled state on the floor
The ash gave way as embers burned
She rose, eyes piercing, weeping—looking for a dare
“Are thou not pleased?”
Anger rising in a plume of smoke

Naked, she stood for all to see
Raw, real, exposed—bleeding heart
Her eyes darted across the room
Her judge and jury ready to prosecute
As one lip curled she recited these words…

“I spent a great deal of my life auditioning for roles that didn’t really fit. I have donned many a costume change—sifted through vintage trunks filled with satin, silk and lace.

Like a cheeky chameleon, I learned to adapt to my surroundings and truly commit to the role befitting my character.

Wearing Channel glasses, dark as obsidian and wearing outfits that would make Jackie O. proud, I have attended parties with plastic people living in glass mansions—palaces with crystal chandeliers overflowing with pearls.

Always the dutiful friend, I would clink a toast to the regal host and boast of their grandeur and wealth.

I played the role of seductress—learning to adapt as the graceful geisha. The perfect escort—always quiet , humble, polite and dutiful.

Knowing my place, I have served many a master and bowed my head with deep honor and respect.

The prowess and purr of the lioness evolved as I began to feel more comfortable in my skin. Cleopatra gilded in gold—making even the most honorable of men come undone.

I have danced in the desert—wearing a ceremonial headdress, passed down from generation to generation. There have been secret meetings of sorts following the ways of the old.

The whole world has stilled as the whoosh of fire engulfed me in a hula hoop candelabrum of sorts.

My gypsy soul—not all who wander are lost.

Young girls and women alike dancing under the light of the full moon—ribbons dancing in the wind.

I have been drenched in jewels, while otherwise scantily clad. There have been jeweled masks made for masquerade.

The perfect Prima Donna twirling a perfect pirouette. Dancing on command each time the lid opened, twirling and twirling, until the lid would close once more.

Until, like an oracle, I danced in a trance—possessed with the truth, as the vision came. With great clarity, I realized that,“No! I am the leading lady of my life and that is the role I choose.”

Peeling the many layers of masks, I let my robe fall—a chiffon snake coiling around my ankles.

I was nude and I felt free. Best supporting actress, I would no longer be.

Running, almost with a skip, I found myself in the forest—lush and green. I chased butterflies and mimicked the song of the birds singing around me.

Laying in a babbling creek, I felt the cold water rush over me—healing and clean.

I let my hair come undone, with cascades of curls floating behind me. I was free of the shackles that once bound my ankles and the ropes that bound my wrists.

Hearing a rustle in the woods and a snap of a branch, I opened my eyes to see a great and mighty buck beside me. As he dropped his head to sip from the stream, I knew, alas, I was home. I had found my place in the world, and I was perfectly content with just being me.”

With that, she blew a kiss and spread her wings
She broke through the house made of glass
As her spirit echoed
Rise, Darling. Rise.

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