Just as she'd have Cavaradossi change
his painted Magdalen's eyes to smoldering brown
from limpid blue, I mentally revise
a scene or two. This Sunday matinee,
let orders not be given, let torture not
ensue, let lovers, secured by safe conduct
make their escape on the old village road.
And Scarpia! No merciful knife for him
Face it: no one's here for happy endings.
Like citizens of Athens we're improved
by tragedy: the hero's sacrifice,
the dastard's end, the diva's harrowed pain.
O deadly promises! O cruel forgotten fan!
Act III: You clear your throat and squeeze my hand.