Rutter's Requiem by W. F. Lantry

I can remember other concerts played

in sacred spaces, where the choir stood

on escalated benches whose long wings

hovered above the orchestra's drawn strings,

above arranged trumpets. The olivewood

cross bore no body then, so Latin lines

 

 

seemed out of place. The mysteries of signs

were absent from the walls. All I could do

was watch the lips of singers. Altos held

their phrases half a breath, hoping to meld

their sound with woodwinds, straight-toned, on beat, true.

 It's not what I prefer. I want to lust

 

 

after the beautiful soprano's hushed

vibrato tessitura, wish her gown

might fall away, leaving only those pearls

against her breathing skin, melodic swirls

 guiding my steps outside, leading me down

into the forest's labyrinth, where leaves

 

 

fall at her will. But here, each bowed head grieves,

and we will go on grieving while the songs

continue, as these harmonies of breath

surround with grace even this present death,

redeeming my iniquities, our wrongs,

a moment, until blended voices fade.


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