The elegant woman’s long gloves
stained, scorched —didn’t we see her
warm her hands at the barrel fire?
It is best not to judge her —you and I,
as each of us have come here knowing
what we, too, will soon deny. No use
recitation. Music is enough. It is more
than confession or redeeming atonement,
more than the stark shape, utter black
at the broken edge of the window pane,
than the last trace of light in this room
—once a great hall and now crumbling
in this our city —of ashes and ruin—
where our shrill gods are rightly dead
and forgotten are their supposed virtues.
Listen, listen only at the cadenza trill,
as the orchestra has gone quiet now.