Haydn’s Mass

The aftereffects were creeping
yet definite—“Hopefully you’ll see me,”
their father had written, “on the other side
somehow…”—there were telltale signs
of intrusion for three generations or more
after—there was never peace; a sense
of fate, of constant escalation of
meaning into figurative and abstract
terms—all things were signs, and
all thoughts were intended, planned
and inseparable from an overarching,
mechanical whole the children referred
to as the numina—there was a constant sense
of being guided to certain conclusions,
to certain places at certain times, numbers
locked in place into the numina, feelings
and emotions and senses and intuitions
all had their interchanging roles, were informing
them and delivering them over, body and
soul, to the same mental project and
place, where the dead dwell, and where
symbols are made, and the future is seen.
Floorboards would creak under their father’s
heavy step, and the water in the shower would
suddenly come on, red hot, full bore, and
sometimes deep copper brown. Paintings
wept, too, and cereals would come from
their sealed packages, filled with
living weevils. The most unbearable aspect
of their haunting was the sound of singing
at night, when they tried to sleep—their father
was a fan of Jospeh Haydn, particularly his masses,
and so on cue each night, when a certain hopeful
calm had crept through the rooms, the halls, and
rafters, when the house ceased speaking, and
the children felt themselves crossing over into
sleep, the eerie singing of a choir would begin—
at first so quiet the ruffle of a pillow or a sigh
would make it mistakable as tinnitus, but then
more discernibly the singing would lift and
swell, like the neverending sense of their
presentiment—the mass would begin, and
their nightmares waltzed them through,
sad, despondent, confused, to another dawn.

Thanks for checking out my poem.

Did I tell you I wrote a novel? You can read it here for free, or get it for your e-reader on iBooks, Amazon or Kobo. Or you can just say you read the book, and donate five bucks down below. Go on.

Gabriel Muoio


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