It’s just too late for one more Otello to be in love;
the grips move uncomfortably
flapping wood and canvas wings—leathery canvas scenery
that grows from them
sawed, fitted, nailed together
with all those double headed nails.
Listen to the music: when the haunted stars
rise up and sacrifice again and again
on the dust covered bed,
The fiberglass towers inevitably tower above.

Wake up. “Props, where’s the candle?”
Christ. I whisper “I saw you pick it up.”
It’s not over yet. There’s still time.
“No…I…Well…maybe I left it on the Rigoletto tower.”
A mix up with the Duke of Mantua.

Inspirational, maybe tomorrow I will start
my dark fantasy novel. “Otello, wait,
I have a spare candle right here.
One just for you. Go get her!”
I will title my new work Burns From the First Degree.

Tonight I must return to Pat’s Bar and celebrate—
begin picaresque adventures in style.
Mysteries wrapped in dry icy fog—but behind the scenes.
I’ll subtitled it Stories told by stage hands
while sitting on the footlights.

Light, more light on this scene,
on this strong and mounting passion
Desdemona can come into. “Come on Emilia,
Get off stage right.
Go home to your warm husband.”
Besides, Otello wants to be alone with his wife;
and it’s getting late, so late
even the athletic orchestra is finally sprinting allegro
and then presto towards the final gold curtain.
The conductor is huffing and puffing to keep up.
They know what the subways become after midnight.

I, well I, I of course, lead all the way
clutching the bloodied trick knife Otello wanted to use tonight—the prize
these lovers will need to quarrel with
Next Monday and next Saturday.

“Wardrobe, here’s the handkerchief Iago lost.”
What a face. “No, no he doesn’t seem to have used it.”
But his cold isn’t much better.
“Look, a pillow fight.” Maybe tonight will be the night
Otello won’t smother his diva
with the ecstasy of his love
and the Broadway local will be on time.