Fall 2017 (Volume 21, Issue I)
DEATH AT THE OPERA
The stout soprano floats across the stage
like a brocaded weather balloon, eyes of peacocks
on her chest. A whiff of opium, the mind ripples,
you slump next to your wife in the velvet seat.
The air spawns wet pearls, dark
blue, plum, pink…
You find yourself slicing dates into a white bowl.
Apple cut into four green boats, the seeds stunned
by light. The knife blade under running water.
No sound in the afterlife but the chirr
of the insane cricket who fell in
through the glare.
You pour tea into the cup, look at the wan girl
who may be Marie Antoinette. She feeds
the two wrens atop the powdered loaf of her hair,
spoons soft-boiled egg into your mouth.
The cricket trills beneath her hoopskirt,
smooth yolk on your tongue.
She walks you to an orchard where old men
in linen suits point their canes at clouds.
Far from the curtain call, the whisper of your wife,
you’re no longer the husk of a man in seat twenty-seven
who now appears to have lost count of the times
he’s circled the sun.