In the pause before the fourth quarter
the band plays inconsequential tunes.
There was youth, there’s love
and then there’s after. When the lover
dies the story ends? Unless you’re Romeo
with Juliet, Isolde with Tristan,
someone survives.

Perhaps Rodolfo, after his last “Mimi!’
and Alfredo, leaving Violetta’s deathbed,
find each other, shared grief an impetus
to new attachment. Germont is not
pleased, seeing his heir with a garret
dweller, but his daughter’s safe
from scandal. C’est Paris, n’est pas?

A widow, weary of grief, begins
to recharge her life. I’ll welcome
you both to my salon; come feast
on my canapés, tease, cajole and
quiz me. The end is not in sight:
together, let’s keep it that way.