The Good Symphony


Here and now is my chance
to take the cup.
The packed sinews in my arm know
enough of their own goodwill.

Salieri, racked by gloom,
saw the host of fingerlights in Mozart’s eyes
but chose in his silent skull
not to admire but to instill harm.

Throw the dice in the expectant hush:
What do I love most?
The mild object
on the white tablecloth
or my sloth to hand
my hand its rights?

20 September 1994

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