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In Rehearsal for Deus ex Machina

You must imagine the tall buildings
the oblique shadows
the Corinthian stems of light


you must ignore the rusted winch
the frayed rope of elevation
the whisper cast from the highest rafter.


Move your eyes stage left to the proscenium arch –
the tattered himation
the empty cask.


She occupies the only spotlight
and must turn her mask to it.


The pit will swarm with eyes
the chorus will exalt this ruin.
Even the orchestra will suspend their bows


to watch her naked body sift
like a hound on heat
through the dark lanes of Athens.


You will not predict the exodos.
When she returns wearing a chlamys
and a carpenter’s resolve


when the set rises with a hoisting of belts –
a city in silhouette
tacked to the slightest of frames.

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