Carnival of the Animals

Census
November 19, 2017
The Technique of Lost Material
November 19, 2017

Carnival of the Animals

My family disintegrated
with Beethoven in the background.

We had Mozart in the morning,
but in the twilight we could hear it coming:

through the thin walls –
“piece of shit,”
an intricate, terribly beautiful symphony
bled through to me.

The lock on my door was broken.

So I built a wall but it couldn’t protect me;
I could hear the bottles’ booms, crashes.

The high alto hawk reached a fevered pitch
as the basset hound baritone’s eyes drooped.

With the duet, years of drama crescendo, fortissimo
the cacophony building onstage:

the coda repeated,
“waste of space,”
and each time louder, sforzando.

The dynamics were there, scrawled in the margins,
but I was powerless to stop the performance.

I sat in the crowd for years, suffocated by the sounds
as I watched our last great opera unravel.

Dazed, still shaken years later,
I can hear echoes ringing
in the sudden silence.