Credit: Jazzy Colbert and Cia Sephina

3. “Curtain Call” A collaborative piece about obsessive compulsive disorder

by Cia Sephina

Purpose: to demonstrate the value of vulnerability that outperforms any show of stability.

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Contortionist

Do not ask me how I spin
within the smallest space to breathe.
Weight balanced by my core,
this is a twisted shape to be.

Elliptical eyes above gaping mouths,
I am a startling sight to see,
but if I were to make their sounds,
it would not make sense to speak.

Gleaming as I lower myself,
I have performed without shaking.
My soreness is soothed
by the rumbling the crowd is making.

As the stage is broken down,
I envy the time they are taking
to scarcely entertain the entertainer
when her day is breaking.

I wonder if being a star
is worth this blind burning?
I would burst and blacken for them,
as long as they orbit my turning.

Before lines were drawn
to make sense of my story,
I was born into a system
that gives stargazers all the glory.

Marionette

I was intricately made 

to act as the devil in this revelation play.

Watch me run across the stage,

keeping your eyes from looking away.

Without a voice to get in the way,

I speak in shadows below hands that lace 

fear into the audience night and day,

my tail swishing in a sickening spade.

Though I ensure that children angelically stay

far removed to keep my horns at bay,

they would hear all I wish to say

if they saw how entangled I have lain.

Follow the puppeteer, I pray.

He stores me in a trunk that chips my paint.

Little does he know, once I have worn away,

the crowd will tire of judgement’s relay.

The revelation fulfilled today 

does not tie my value to a role or place.

I deserve to dance among all things mundane 

because I have ached to be free always.

Impersonation

I appear on the ark with wings bare,

forgetting my feathered gloves backstage.

I play one of the two by two parakeets, 

only choreographed to dance the same. 

My song was too loud for the wings 

when my side of symmetry could not be saved.

Still, I smile through every practiced step,

because flying away would not save face.

I migrate to our dressing room,

glitter stuffed into every spare space.

Despite cordial creatures’ silence,

my colors shown are enough of a cage.

I land on the creator’s arm.

She has trained me back into place,

because the show of scripture must go on;

plucking me out would be a waste. 

A rainbow has been revealed.

People put flowers in a vase.

I remember that I am human 

as I remove hours’ worth of face paint. 

My dress and shoes sit soaking. 

The air swells, my role to be replaced,

but I find symmetry in my mirror.

In shedding my wings, I soar anyway.

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