Manipulate the mask.
Perhaps that’s all we ask.
Regenerate the sweeter falsity –
say, play the waltz that he
recorded on the radio
so long ago –
the rippling importuning of which
would attune most any ear to switch
the fear of love to love –
to reach the hidden dove
in every heart, induce desire –
in fact, require
that it soar out from its lair
and find its yearning there
and lavish every thought of him
with what it carefully had brought of him
to light and sound from silence in the dark.
That was long ago. The park
that they took walks in now
had taught them once just how
debilitating jealousy could be.
How zealously he
offered his abject remorse:
he’d had to change his course,
he said, he’d fallen for –
it didn’t matter who, the door
had shut. So what could bring
the hastily abandoned thing
of them together?
What still was here? A tether
tugged them back: they found the masks
they’d worn. They put them on. The tasks
they were to carry out appeared.
Behind their masks, their vision cleared.
This loosed the knot within.
And love awoke, forgot the sin.