by Alan Britt

That’s the funny thing about heart disease;
no matter what, it always reserves season tickets
to the local symphony,
Beethoven’s String Quartet in Hellish Existence,
or even his Eroica, sans Bonaparte. 
Imagine Beethoven on his deathbed 
celebrating life,
remembering stories
about black rains
Venetian canals 
and mildewing the cobblestones 
of 17th Century Vermeer townhouses;
or, perhaps, you’d prefer, instead, the movie star type
that Dion DiMucci sang about.
Hell, you might even dream
about a superficial solution to all the world’s problems.
The fact is,
the perennial court jester,
a la Hamlet,
held his own
for quite awhile,
until a CEO discovered him
wiling away his time
in a boxcar
bound for glory 
filled with 50-millimeter new-age cannons.
I believe that love is still, however, willing
to climb the lattice
of windy eyelashes,
instead of using
a glass elevator;
it’s merely what
our god-forsaken culture 
requires of silly humans. 
But who am I to question
Darwin’s heroes of the Industrial Revolution?
What’s that you’re hiding
inside the worsted wool pockets of your soul?
A second ago,
I saw you!
Sometimes, standing here in Ophelia’s moonlit grave,
waving my wooden sword through ironic lamplight, 
I hope I’ll be around long enough 
to kiss your crumbling headstone.

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