At the Palais Garnier
We always arrived late,
sometimes in masks. You wore a sword
at your side. The heads that watched
our little pageant were busts of the great composers
and not men lined up for the executions.
The style was Second Empire,
but the Empire had already fallen
by the time the façade was finished.
The casts changed seasonally
like our lovers. I remember,
through black lace fans, Hänsel & Gretl
eating a garish cake in the darkness.
We covered our mouths
when we laughed at the children trapped
in the house of sweets. We ate cake at intermission
in order to stay awake.