You pull the cord.
The curtain falls.
But in this version of the final act,
I don't die.
I cross the void.
I fill the silence.
I dance on.
I am the wisp of cloud, stained onyx, whose singular dark beauty leaves you breathless on an otherwise clear day.
I am the ebony pin-feather that drifts, like magic, from out of the pristine blue and settles insistently in the centre of your palm.
I am the moan that escapes your lips as you sleep, sweat-drenched and restless, while we tangle with carnal depravity in the murky depths of your night mind.
I am the sombre emptiness that weighs in your arms, the minor-key melody you cannot tune out of your ears, the infinity whose obsidian expanse both thrills you and terrifies you.
I am the grandest pas de deux you never danced.
And when you see me in shadow now and then, skirting the stage of your imagination,
you will know me by the line I trace,
by the flash of my eyes,
by the clamour I cause,
by the way I haunt.
You will know me by the way I have transformed.
By the way I have become integral to your darkest dreams.
I pirouette along the periphery of your desire.
You keep me in the wings.
But this is not a dance that can be controlled.
It is its own life-force.
It makes demands that muscle and tendon have never before known.
It adorns breath with serrated edges that saw through lung.
It breaks skin and tears hair and grinds down bone.
It confuses the line between pleasure and pain until they are one.
It insists, it commands, it uses.
It wants, it needs, it takes.
And in the end it does what it has intended to all along: