Richard Lemm


The day Pavarotti died
you sang “Nessun Dorma”
over the rap music blaring
from the neighbours’ balcony above.

You stood in line with Pinot Grigio
surrounded by soi disant Canadians
bearing two-fours of Coors and Bud
and sailing off with Captain Morgan.

You wore the red dress with cleavage
Luciano would have rapturously
serenaded, and gold-trimmed high heels
to board the barge on the Nile of your patio.

You made pesto for the entire chorus,
and pasta that delayed Radames
from his grand entrance. Buzzing
with your espresso, the orchestra

raced through Aida’s death scene,
while the great tenor dabbed at his brow
with his white handkerchief, leaned back
in your lawn chair, savouring the wine.

When he departed, bowing, and kissing
your hand the final time, you drifted
down the Nile until the full moon set,
past the pyramids, past Alexandria,

out on the sea past the Sirens and toward
that peninsula where one voice rose
and burst and pulsated and was gone
behind the curtain of stars.

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