1. PETALS ON A WET, BLACK BOUGH
I picture your head resting on the glass,
On some train rattling south through hamlets called
By Indian names, or something “Bridge” or “Falls,”
While at each concrete depot crowds amass
Where Pleasantvilles are split by rails of steel.
Meanwhile, I’ve come for you. I wait by track
Fifteen, Grand Central Station, leaning back
To view the cosmos, painted gold and teal,
And suddenly I understand the true
Significance of this: of me, and you,
And this small isle called by an Indian sound—
I love the faces, crazies in the crowd—
To each who passes I’m one more unknown;
And yet never have I felt less alone.
If you and I are two, then two is one—
One more would be two twos—but one of two
(The me and you) is all I bother to
Arrange on my hands, eight (nine?) fingers un-
Used. I count us on thumbs, side by side. Thumb
To thumb, we cozy up too neatly, too
Inevitably joined by flesh right through
The body: how could this bond be undone?
You know that thumbs were made to fight. (They wres-
Tle!) So we should not feel so bad that we
Do, sometimes. Anyway, we thumbs are best
For twiddling. What’s more fun than screaming “Whee”
As we spin ‘round and ‘round? And when we rest,
Post-twiddle, I’ll be there. You, too. Just we.
I was a moon caught in the gravity
Of your terrestrial urge. I was an Earth
Encircling you, the Sun. My star traversed
An endless arc that was just one degree
Of your vast, soft-hued Milky Way. I cursed
Expanding space for speeding you from me!
Soon, we were stretched too far, at tensions we
Could not endure. Our Big Bang bubble burst.
You are not earth, or star, or galaxy.
You are, in fact, dimensionless, a point
Too dense not to implode. Like light, I join
This black hole’s rush toward singularity,
Compelled by cosmic force, and I immerse
Myself in you, my little universe.
4. FIRST-ACT LOVE BALLAD
The verse establishes the scene: we know
Each other barely, obstacles abound.
But as the chorus starts, we both have found
That inexplicably a love has grown
Between us. Hesitant at first, we show
Each other glimpses of our fluttered hearts.
Just then, a sudden transposition starts
The bridge, meaning that this scenario
Has complications, poignant, comical.
Those shadows pass, and only make our mood
More urgent! (Swell to a dance interlude.)
Our first-act love song climaxes with full
Ensemble surging to a tense grand pause—
(Big cadence—lights out—rapturous applause.)