Mozart's Last Legs
All alone and miserably cold
He writes to his estranged Constanze:
"My dear, my only love, 2999 kisses
Fly from me to you." Later that day
He hoists a flagon at the Silver Serpent
Then slips off his chair, dizzy, declaring
"It's poison, Salieri's doing." The glamour
And applause long gone, replaced now by
Lachrymose fugues and rondos. His skin
Waxy, ankles swollen; they're reflections
Of the morose Requiem he's composing...
Death all but inevitable now, he spits up
And convulses as Sussmayr transcribes
Sanctus and Benedictus between sobs.
Thomas Piekarski is a former editor of the California State Poetry Quarterly. His poetry and interviews have appeared in Nimrod, Portland Review, Kestrel, Cream City Review, Poetry Salzburg, Boston Poetry Magazine, Gertrude, The Bacon Review, and many others. He has published a travel guide, Best Choices In Northern California, and Time Lines, a book of poems. He lives in Marina, California.