Nightly Routine

by Samantha Welch
Every night, the lights
Illuminate and shine
Off of the runway, catching
The sequins on my cobalt blue, skin-tight dress.
Each piece reflects, beaming back into the dark,
Like individual stars
Creating a magnificent constellation.
My heart pumps ecstasy when the audience roars my name.
Then the spotlights dim,
And the stars die out.
Every night, I stare at the woman
Looking back at me in the mirror.
Her beauty, her glamour, her allure.
With two hands, I slide her red hair off
And I am left holding a wig.
Grabbing the corners of each eye, I tug off her lashes–
First the left, then the right–
And I set down the two lush, black, illusions.
With a cool cotton cloth, I wipe off her painted face.
The makeup disintegrates and melts away.
The greys and golds shed off with such
A simple touch.
Suddenly, I look
Every night, I tear my mask off
And I can fade back into anonymity.
With my mask on,
I am the brightest comet against a black sky
And all the world’s eyes gaze upon me.
I look up.
In the mirror, staring back at me
Is just a typical man