by Dylan Lim
She descended her dark stage, illuminated by a singular spotlight and floating on the silent praise on her performance that represented a part of her, only permitted to come alive, to dance, to sorrow and to die with an audience; untouched by reality, she immortalized herself on that scene full of glitter and puff, impressing the crowd of shadows as her musicians serenaded her every action. She loves being herself – able to live and die multiple lives, and who can say they really understand a story unless they are within it themselves?
The strings play a sad but triumphant procession that weaves her poignant figure into an embodiment of humanity, an icon of passion that the shadows absorb obsequiously: they devour her long, bundled, brown hair that stretched as an icy wave across the geography of her body, which eyes probed like satellites, pouring over the rich forests and rivers but unable to appreciate the crevices of which insignificant bees breed, who sink their stings into the flesh of humans and die in blind passion. The shadows fantasize about her, yes, her cruel innocence that so protects and endangers her.
As she takes her first step down, nobody can see the blisters that hid on the underside of her quaint feet, sheltering themselves from the storm of judgment rampant beyond the protection of her ebony-leather heels. Nobody can see the scars on her back, and especially those in her heart, the ones she had to endure by they who are now enjoying her – again. But she is content, and she is beautiful, because there is nothing she wants more than this, which is to live – and aren’t the shadows now feeding off her life?
For she would not have forsaken this for the security of death, which leaves man in his perfunctory state, or the intelligent acquiescence that governs the oppression of her kind. And after she basks in the unbridled passion of the song, the audience leaves, one by one, as if suddenly uninterested in the spectacle they had just witnessed, and her beauty suddenly reduced to nothing, like the breaking of a spell by the magic of music. Her musicians shift uncomfortably, the stage slowly becoming a curse to whoever chooses to linger; people assume their rudimentary roles, conform, accept, discard, but she is still hovering, soaring, a product of her passions, and the music never really ends to her.
And so perchance a child with unveiled eyes will see the glimmer past the glitter, and exclaim, “I want to be that beautiful when I grow up,” and retain this innocence, this fire, this passion-bound beauty.