A Stage Prop’s Romance or The Optimistic Friendzone Manual

Listen for her breathing
and hear the earth stop spinning
beneath you.
Watch from the sidelines
as she dances on the stage of her life.
Watch her violin eyelashes
speak symphonies into the air
and join every atom of the universe in applause.

She never asks you for your opinion on her looks,
but if she did, you would say,
You look okay.

She is galaxies, oceans, and a fire
rolled into one.
She beats down on your heart like a bass drum.
She can usher tears into your eyes
and make your loins burn red hot.
She beats up your soul like a talking drum.

Just when you are getting ready to take your place
in the back of everyone’s mind,
she looks over at you,
her eyes holding tiny candle lights.

You hear an orchestra singing
and a choir playing joyful notes in your mind.

All of a sudden,
those traitorous words are in your mouth
Your lips curl around them like an embrace
You brace yourself and-

He walks out
to the stage.
she turns
toward him.
Her face
burns brighter
than the stage lights.
Your face
how to be a face.
You plead
with your bones
to keep holding you up.

Oh, how shameful.
How could you have forgotten?
What is not yours is not yours.
Wishing to be one with fire
is how people like you get burnt.

I’ll tell you again:
You are not a star in this play.
What is not yours cannot be yours.
Practice blending into the background
before the light fades
Do not take up any space
Just listen for your cue
and when it comes, say,

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