LOVE DUET IN MY FATHER’S AGE
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 is the author of eight books, including four collections of poems--Pugilistic, The Sleeping Gulf, New 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.