A Farewell to Art                                                

            After the performance
            I rushed backstage with my bouquet
            In the manner of a nobleman
            (From the Russian novels I had read)
            Although I hadn’t two cents
            Let alone a ‘von’ or patronymic
            To my name
            She blushed –
            Maybe it was my clothes
            Or earnestness –
            Thanked me and turned away
            To greet her throng
            In that heyday of my ignorance
            I braved the cold and lay in wait
            Along the street outside the hall
            For one more glimpse
            It wasn’t the limitless perfection of her art
            The perilous magnificence of the dance
            Those past three nights
            It was a look
            Transcending character
            I needed to confirm
            That fought for beauty tooth and nail
            Despite the ravages of poverty and love,
            Chance, injustice or the cruel
            Indignities of pettiness and power
            I spied the cigarette as she emerged
            At my approach she stopped
            And as I babbled who knows what
            She took my hand
            Defying her bewildered friends
            She led me back into the theatre
            And upon the stage
            The house was empty, dark
            Her smoky kiss dared me to take
            Far more than I had bargained for
            I took
            And then we took our bow


            Emanuel E. García, Leaf Thoughts, One Hundred Poems2013

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