on 3/16/2020 we were scheduled to perform a production of dominique morriseau’s play pipeline at the poetry foundation, free of charge

by Aurora Real de Asua

see, you were supposed to see it like a regular play

you were supposed to get your program, find a seat, forget to turn off your phone,
fall asleep for a moment, if the acting was bad, if you didn’t get any the night before

you were supposed to clap at the end,
and stand if you wanted to,
leave and move on,
until it faded to something brief, something soft, to a feeling that crackled inside you whenever you thought of that night you once spent at the theatre

in the end, nobody saw it
well, maybe they did
dust is a crowd,
or it at least it was once
made up, as it is, of once-alive people,
ground up so small and forgotten that nobody thinks twice about it hanging around
waiting for a nose to call home,
if dust was (is) a body then yes we performed for a body
we performed for millions
we performed for the dust

maybe someday one of the actual bodies we were meant to perform for will inhale the dust that actually witnessed the performance

maybe we have to get metaphorical about this, metamorphic
wait until we begin to erode,
until the bonding becomes actual bonding,
links that are thick and covalent,
maybe we, who make up so many majorities,
so many audiences and ushers and actors,
maybe we begin our dissolving,
maybe we get a little bit dusty,
maybe that’s what it means now,
to see.

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