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.
W.F. Lantry

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