Home / Issue 33 / OPENING NIGHT

OPENING NIGHT

By Karen Douglas

In my dream a woman

I barely know has just been told

she’s cured, can go home

with her children, who

are rifling through her purse

for left-handed, two-dollar bills.

 

                         I simplify:

Her cancer has come back and

I am all of these characters—

the one dying and naïve

as a child hunting rare currency.

And I am clinic staff,

an officious list maker, a self

in splinters, shards of a busted mirror,

cutting, irregular. I had thought

I was whole, organic as an eggplant,

not a brittle glass broken

at the whim of gravity.

 

The dream cast takes its bow,

no encore, and I leave the theater

aware of a one-time performance,

not a film to rewind, edit.

I trust the next production

to bring me news from backstage.