AFTER THE OPERA

The curtain parts one last time
and the ones who killed
and were killed,
who loved inordinately,
who went berserk, were flayed alive,
descended to Hades,
raged, wept, schemed—
victims and victimizers alike—
smile and nod and graciously bow.
So glad it’s finally over,
they stride off
suddenly a bit ridiculous
in their overwrought costumes.
And the crowd—still dark,
like God beyond the footlights of the world—
rises to its feet
and roars like the sea.

Richard Schiffman | What the Dust Doesn’t Know, 2017

Juana Olga Barrios |  Hey Mama, 2013