A calm, rising voice here signifies
the suppression of history rent and loosing something it had trapped,
stifled in its hour of quiet rage
and curiosity, is detached
and yet a part of the action: a whisper
in the winter dusklight, led by the hand into the warmth of a Christmas chill under a side door, and through it
into shadows, chutes of dresses, shadows
fleeing in curiosity, and this voice, unanswered like poison, and hidden
from the swordsman who looks behind
a mask behind which—no, that’s
all, and the man closes the door softly behind him,
introduces himself loudly, intoning—and I
can’t understand him, or who, and why
are they so hostile? A nobleman
retches on the floor, a coin rolling in on itself—is the wheel
upon which stormed Bastilles and bored and lonely postmodern hearts lie—
Give me that! We’re reaching the end
of the measure, and the hourglass in the hands
of the girl is overturned at the bridge
and the fireworks are so very much and I get the feeling
they’re dead, don’t know.
Where is the Empress? And how, look—! We’ll
follow this gentleman, here. Look!
Such marvelousness! What pretentiousness!
Those, up there,
those arches are immaculate! The words
don’t quite match the movement of our mouths,
a little off. Perhaps this too
is intentional. Them, those men sitting over there,
can they see us? The dialogue
stops, as it does in waking reality or would—and is about
as indominable. A rejection happens, and too soon he turns away.
Her disc-shaped wings are in balance with suppleness of her flesh,
her weight on her arm. The doughiness
of the marble! Suppose it must take art for us
to learn to appreciate art.
And history. These days.
I should know, should probably
know where it’s going.