The theatre company are notoriously uncompromising
And heartbreakingly beautiful
Polished lines slip from perfect mouths in
careful italics 
Like a domino run
Like a feat of meticulous engineering
They look at us
Or they appear to look at us
We are transfixed
The stage is cool white
And almost empty
And the lights fizz
And the music glows
They offer us our lines
And we say them
They are famously acute dissectors of our many recognised failings
We give them all the desire we can manage
And they give us back
A detailed list of our many potential failings
In a font so perfect
Some in the audience are brought to tears
And some talk of ethics
But I am not thinking of ethics
I am thinking of the magician
Who asks you to think of the Queen of Hearts
And then pulls it so sweetly from your trouser pocket
Or from the neckline of your dress
And the hot shame of his face so close to yours
And I think about
Elaborate machines
Made of bodies
And pop songs
And I see the spaces that we are supposed to fit ourselves into
To squeeze our awkward bodies
Into moulded plastic frames
Or the mechanism won’t work
It is all so heartbreakingly beautiful
The stage is cool white
Like butcher’s marble
And I want to tell them
That in their hunger to demonstrate the dreadfulness of things
They are demanding I be the worst version of myself
But though the spotlight is on me
I am never actually handed the microphone.

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