I. Come As You Are

The difficulties, in passion,
are not news: the knot at the throat,
the lipstick that smears, the skirt
which induced such provocative hobbling
yet will not rise above the thighs.
So many comedies of the zipper,
the shoelace, and the coiffure.
Similarly, the aria will not soar
if the diva is sitting down.
We do not advocate nudity, exactly, nor
the slattern in the unbelted kimono
swigging beer from a bottle by the electric fan.
Yet how are we to stand and sing
in purple raincoats, gather rosebuds
from a moving train?
It was during the salad course,
and the fifth bottle of wine,
when a shot was fired, and the power failed,
that we realized we had not dressed for this.