Music swells as curtain rises,
Stage is bare, not one seat filled.
Lights are up, so no surprises.
Air is thick with phantoms, chilled.
I can hear him dancing closer,
Boogie-man from ‘neath my bed,
Tapping toes and twirling tailcoat,
Top hat square on balding head.
He glides across the polished floorboards,
Pulling spotlights as he goes.
Tapping, twirling, pounding rhythms,
He owns the stage—he wrote the show.
I can’t move, can’t hide, can’t cry out.
Soon the spotlight finds my shame.
The absent audience laughs loudly;
Hecklers hoot and yell my name.
On he dances, never stopping.
The empty air rings with applause.
Naked stand I, silent partner.
The dance continues without pause.
Boogie-man, toe tapping monster,
Tap dance bogey, loosed from hell,
Drop the curtain, kill the lights,
And free me from your hateful spell.