Operetta a la Jessica
Each time she slits your throat only words come out -

much like the rage,
mud on my shoes,
the shallow hum: I
heard it through the
grapevine
; a snow globe
left unturned, the dark
room with a single orb of
light strutting in and out
of your peripheral. The
casket – an old man wheezing;
a cell phone held to an ear.
A coffer, old man in a tower,
King Lear, Judy Garland belting:
The Atchison, Topeka, and the
Santa Fe
, a rhyme you forgot -
Cinderella dressed in yella', though
she never again kissed a fella', or
note the view of the city through the sunroof
of a speeding car – a train howls -
Mozart's harpsichord, accidence, we
were never each other's Svengali – the
lithe light, colder each day though
summer was almost here; Wagner, the
final gasping notes of intermezzo, the
plane ride, ambulance siren – the
child tells the mother that it will be
alright through pulls of fleeting breath;
the way a sob can feel like you've
swallowed fire, or laughing, despite yourself,
Vivaldi, or Stevie Nicks on slow and low
when the rain comes. You knowing nothing
yet living to tell the tale – the fable unspoken
where maidens die in warm beds, or naked
on a operating table – the heart being
the last to give out, the silver fingernail
polish, Holy Grail, Olives worn on fingers
as rings, orchards were walls go unclimbed,
a sign. Something in the way you toss your hair,
something unnoticed; a smell in the air,

each time she slits our throat only words come out.