(Magic Flute, Metropolitan Opera, 2014)



I want to know

as this last of so many curtains

falls on spangled shapes; pin spots; bright moon

shafts piercing velvet dark -- why is it you


who gets the song:  that dazzling string

of glorious a capella pearls, flung

at the hall like a great expanding necklace

radiant with power, whose


words reek murderous revenge?

The sun may win, dissolving your deep night

yet it’s your doubled theme that stays. 

Beneath the mumbo-jumbo of the play


the score speaks clear --  I want to know

if you suspect (as you press on in your

ferocious quest, soaring past lunar notes

to that fierce B) the gift is retrograde:


all surfaces deceive.  To be fulfilled

a self transcending self must be achieved. 



 Version first published as Poem of the Week, Poetica Magazine, 10 August 2015