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

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

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,

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

but there is lipstick, at least
on that bloodless face

stylishly smeared


C. S. E. Cooney

December 6th, 2016

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