On the cutting room floor, andante favori
Poem by Nicole Skibola
The sonata was too long, too many strings sewing her stories threaded like cobwebs layer upon layer upon layer over her gasping lungs
andante favori, they advised her, recalling the success of opus 53, extracted, surgically, methodically, and then salvaged to entertain
the bourgeois of viennese society.
In a quiet room she unfolds a frayed silk garment with tissuey layers,
pink and cellular
she sits with tenotomy scissors and a scalpel
(*we left these for you, in the interest of making this process quick and painless)
Obliging, she follows the lines of the offending movements, singing and weeping them simultaneously
and with her eyelashes traces the outline of his beautiful face
extraction is advisable, for the healing
or so it says on the doctor note, with an air of arrogance
but how to tear apart lumps of hard scar tissue that have molded together
in a process of inosculation, two related, but different
species of pain.
Severing veins is tedious, if even to the melody of a song
bloodways fork into bloodways, like fractal units
rendering the shadow of their passage impossible to trace;
and the deeper she cuts, the harder it bleeds, red and furious
until all she can see is her face in his; his face in hers
Can this movement be removed; the second in three that comprise
the winter where she tucked herself away in a dark cocoon
and he, a dingy moth fluttered away into the night
upon seeing his own reflection in her eyes?
Alone, in her operating room
the chorus fades and the sonata becomes her sonata
her triumphant, painfully lovely monarch wings flutter
and andante favori plays.