There could always be another pillar, buried deep beneath the one that crumbled. There could always be another chance, just waiting in the wings. That sliver of moon tried to tell my fortune, casting shadows against the wall. That silver of the mirror, replying at first light. I cast my eyes as if there were a distance. I cast my eyes as if my eyes could see. I play the part as best I remember, not a single soul awake. I say my lines a little too loud for the room, remembering the cheap seats.
On the best days I pretend not to remember, or at least that it doesn't bother me when I do. Edit out the broad strokes of fortune, erase the worst that the editing did not remit. The rest of it I could shrug off, a few details left in the dustbin, a few things left to the limits of imagination. Those moments when everything happened, those moments with the slow motion and the sharp cuts. They worry me so hard they became the story. And then I played the part until I forgot I was fifth business. The clown in the galley, the goon lost in the orchestra pit. I forgot the act, I lost the lines. The character was all I kept.
I would say it so for all the world. Make some claim, like I knew one thing. Take the stage away again, dust off the old soft shoe. My style, my schtick, the whole blessed arithmetic of hide and seek. I divine them from memory, I read them from the cards I keep up my sleeves, I lose them and find them again and again. My only story, the entire canon cribbed and gaffed. Leaning towards the limelights, swinging for the moon.