Depressing a Tactile Switch

Every time I press it I become smaller, less clear
It does not release fear or humiliation
That the other men will rage at, infuriated

It just turns on a dim light way in the back of the theater
And illuminates an iron railing on the concrete steps that go nowhere.
There is a red door there, but it is solid and locked from the inside.

At the bottom, the two lovers are holding hands
They are very young and are experimenting, glancing at each other
If I would press it, perhaps it would go out – the light.

The shadows would hold hands and merge into the big curtain.
All the seats are empty, they always make me sad
Sometimes someone comes in and sweeps the floor

There is no way I will ever find the ticket stub to that play you really liked.
An old friend said you had auditioned for the top man
He was very impressed and invited you back to his place.

I think the switch was then, but I’m not sure –
It just sort of appeared one day when I was getting over the flu
It didn’t make sense at first – a modern switch from a much earlier time
But everyone has one, you said, it’s just that most people would never press it.


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