Walking in front of the projector the day
the teacher showed us Hamlet,
I was covered with everything from guards to ghosts,
graveyards to garlands, tattooed with images
from the projector’s beam.

My face, my clothes,
my being, not my own for just a moment,
but quickly reclaimed without the cast of
characters who dwelt externally upon me,
leaving behind scenes for others to enact.

Later, it was your conversations cast upon me,
new scripts to learn, words I didn’t understand,
prelude to chaos, to standoffs, to episodes of swirling voids.
I often needed to sit to figure out what had
been said, the strobe-like after effect of your words.

These post-projection years, what I’ve called the years
since you, helped me produce scenes making sense,
ones where I move in and out of dialogues and sight,
projecting who I’ve been and might still become,
not what someone had projected upon me.