Turgid punches of the horns — all jabs — a bassoon’s left hook
— then there’s no sludge at all — just a man bombarded
to a stain on the pout of a marble stair, flesh singed
The stranger next to you asks for the time but the vision’s taken hold —
crescendo! The heroine faces a tough choice.
for if he died, the borders between hell and earth
What kind of legacy is that to leave the world?
A soprano takes the stage. Burgundy silk burnished
the witch who’d been scattered in brief interludes throughout the season
— Look around — this place is littered with the bodies of the slain.
--If you people did not want this, you would not have called it down.
All the bows shiver as the momentous intro rises —
—What…what do you mean?
The hallmark villainess smirk before
— the first notes quiver like nervous kisses
cupped towards the spray of harmonics hugging the shore.
And we’re back to the oilfields’ effulgent dread.
That sheen is the blood of old wars
The thrum of giant pistons heralds the coming light
We know what happens next, that satiny light —
—What a pathetic world. Is this the best you could do?
A rattle signals the twinkle of deadly spores,
Our heroine tunes it out as she’s been trained by the telepaths
and the chandeliers swing from the rafters of Symphony Hall.
Your neighbor grabs your arm — what’s happening?
The soprano steadies herself against the concert grand
She wanders the stage, gown tattered by falling debris,
deranged by the machete-edged lament—
—Despite your insistence, you know nothing of God.
The last line slipped through her mental block.
She knows it’s true but it doesn’t get her.
The thing about saving the world is once
Already the aria crumbles, libretto and score
The maestro stumbles on stage, the crumbling walls
There’s a duel, of course, with swords,
In the dark, in the perfumed and velvet-lined confusion
— and it’s done. The witch has run, sure to return
His blood will stain the stairs with heartbreak,
Once into the evening, despite the crowd, the random sirens,
The city just a shadow nestled in some hills. Above it the dance of
The astronauts don’t know the ending so don’t spoil it.
If they looked now, they’d see a darkened stage where we brace