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One Reason I Like Opera by Marge Piercy

One Reason I Like Opera

by Marge Piercy

from her book Colors Passing Through Us: Poems, 2004 (and here)

In movies, you can tell the heroine because she is blonder and thinner than her sidekick. The villainess is darkest. If a woman is fat, she is a joke and will probably die. In movies, the blondest are the best and in bleaching lies not only purity but victory. If two people are both extra pretty, they will end up in the final clinch. Only the flawless in face and body win. That is why I treat movies as less interesting than comic books. The camera is stupid. It sucks surfaces. Let's go to the opera instead. The heroine is fifty and weighs as much as a '65 Chevy with fins. She could crack your jaw in her fist. She can hit high C lying down. The tenor the women scream for wolfs down an eight course meal daily. He resembles a bull on hind legs. His thighs are the size of beer kegs. His chest is a redwood with hair. Their voices twine, golden serpents. Their voices rise like the best fireworks and hang and hang then drift slowly down descending in brilliant and still fiery sparks.

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