Poetry 2010 / Volume 41

I Die Stage Left — Hailey Malone

I die performing as Juliet
in front of a sold-out crowd on
opening night. As the blunt dagger
touches my chest I suffer an
aneurysm. My brain fills with
blood, drowning my synapses and
washing away my lines in sets
of two to my lungs–
Let me die!
Let me die!

I die stage left with a delightful
thud. The audience gasps at my
poignant, yet not a touch maudlin
death. My last exhale reaches
the first row, and they shudder.
“Give this woman a Tony!” someone calls,
and then “Brava! Brava!”
“Has she been classically trained?”
one asks, marveling at
my lifelike death.

Romeo is getting nervous.
The curtains close on wild applause,
he exits stage left and commences CPR.
Thirty compressions, two breaths, no use.
The cast gathers around me,
sad yet appreciative of my artery’s
impeccable timing.

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