Cécile Chaminade's Costly Camphor Caravan
She tunes a Pomeranian in A minor on the didgeridoo,
lounging on a harp of teal terra cotta tiles,
her head on a porcelain pillow of pink Limoges.
Tremolos among the cellos resonate restive protocols.
The lunar tetrad paints four stepping stones
to walk across a blood-red bridge.
I dance upon the ledge of four bright windows,
a balcony of spiraled shafts of sacred light.
Against the waning moon, stretched scarlet streams
of shimmering shades—magical mithril mists—
glow pregnant with prophetic warning: O Seeker,
guide the falcon gliding past crewel clouds on phantom wings!
Fibonacci feathers, stitched like sharps and flats in E Minor,
cascade onto an ivy-covered roof. An oil painting on canvas
against a brick wall in a cobblestone street bares its teeth.
The French horn on the bistro chair by a round table mutes itself.
A manuscript shadowing page seventeen waits for the horn to sound.
Might this be the Saxe-Breteuil? A man and a woman
garrisoned clandestinely in the garden behind a cottage
claw at an ancient promise that tavil drums shall begin.
The stiletto glinting beneath the water in the pool of lilies questions:
Is that blood on the tiles? Wine? Diapasons dredge a didgeridoo.
"And why the number seventeen?" she asks and wrings her hands.
"Symbolic, perchance," he quipped, chanting camphor cantabile.
—Copyright © 2014 Robert E. Romanelli