Farrar and Caruso sing us “Butterfly”

in a century-old parlor complete

with Victrola and vinyl collection

the dead have kindly left behind.

Five different renditions today,

reviving decades, spinning backwards

through my father’s mother’s arias,

last wishes, suburban afternoons

listening with cousins in sitting rooms,

city mornings with barbers who groomed them

for romance and voices in black and white.

As Farrar sings desperate love

while Caruso allows her belief,

my father sits back, two hands on a cane,

the newlywed in suit and tie

next to his bride in fur and gown,

at the opera, pompous royals

floating above a life of thrift,

of armchair stogies lit as censers 

in worship of perfect moments,

limits of our lives, Farrar and Caruso

holding harmony, and my father

in tears for what beauty insists

will never abandon us.

George Guida Author Photo.jpg

George Guida is the author of eight books, including four collections of poems--PugilisticThe Sleeping GulfNew York and Other Lovers, and Low Italian.His recent work appears in Aethlon, J Journal, the Maine Review, Mudfish, Poetry Daily, the Tishman Review, and Verse Daily. He teaches at New York City College of Technology, and serves as an advisory editor to 2 Bridges Review.