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The Lyric Poem Prize

Bryan Penberthy

 

Musetta's Waltz & Electric Guitar

When it happens, noise statics across the stage

in fog shades, grays, a glaze caressing the cast

of Rent, Roger coaxing sparks from the prop

guitar, Mimi and her devastating light, becoming

more than fiction, electric sound cut ragged

from someone's life, notes tripping over and into

themselves, scattering into the audience, each one

pulling a breath into the air and the girl whose hand

I'm holding, warm in my own, rubs her thumb

against my skin, as if she could coax the same

sounds from me, if I were electric and able to speak.