Dismembered But Still Singing

dismembered but still singing
the musician floats down sorrow river

even now
they retain their sense of glamour

maybe it’s the sequins, the high-and-lowlights
or reverb from a lav mic clipped to their rhinestone collar
(and this, all this
gore-caked now, glitterlessly blasé
from the surgical frenzy of that last great show)

the musician sings Ogden Nashish rhymes
to the melody of a dusty velvet aria
they are

unworried
about time signature, tradition
key change, coming in sharp, loss of lyrics
addled eggs

or
adulatory flowers
released in startled arcs
from the palms of a perspiring audience, like
a magician’s emaciated doves

mouth open, water lapping
they sing,
soundlessly

not even a laryngectomee’s wheeze through the stoma
not even that

but there is lipstick, at least
spotlight-bright
on that bloodless face

stylishly smeared

 

C. S. E. Cooney

December 6th, 2016

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