I am 80, or maybe 85,
will go to the opera every night.
to the nines, glitter and sheen.
will know the libretti almost by heart.
seat or box, I won’t care.
pit musicians will call me Signora Puccini,
Wagner or the Balcony Ghost.
will nod at me in his or her own time as they warm up and
their neighbor the latest.
of the trombonists might say to the others
heard I used to play a mean trombone.
they will murmur as they rattle off a fast scale,
a reed, or tighten a bow.
conductor will blow past them quickly
with the white stick put them under their nightly thrall.
lights will rise and the opera will begin to sing, flesh will
will swish and signify. Gestures cut the air, slicing out a
story made from burlap, velveteen, facial hair and crowns.
swords will flash. Grave illness hollow a soprano’s eyes.
will delineate love beyond all time and space.
will clap and weep and laugh at myself before I get in the
Someone will hand me my toddy and I will watch the
repopulate the earth as I am driven back to my sanctuary
my aged self.
won’t think of what I could have done in my life.
won’t think of what I didn’t accomplish or finish.
I will be past all that. I will be in cahoots with the immortals
have taken their advice to keep the mind silent. Silent about
of which it knows nothing. I will hum the last lilting sorrow
the last act of the opera and feel its sweetness in my whole body.
I will lay me down to dream.