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A night at the opera promises humble defeat

to a forgotten singer in the audience.

Velvet seats smooth lines of tension

carved deep into sunken flesh and muscle,

disguising bones that make music of their own.

A fallen empire watches the civilization 

born from its blood

sprout flowers on its unmarked grave,

atop canines that can’t bite back.

Drowned in obsolescence, 

A single tear streaks the singer’s cheek by intermission.

The primadonna’s bel canto echoes like a hymn,

Condemning her to an afterlife like no other.

There’s heaven, there’s hell,

and there’s opera.

Daily Arts Writer Sarah Rahman can be reached at