The End,

proclaimed the text, after the movie
credits rolled and the curtains

draped back over the screen— sheer
enough though, so one could still see

the Metro-Goldwyn-Mayer lion as it opened
its golden mouth and roared beneath the motto

“Ars Gratia Artis,” a Latin phrase
which translates as “Art for art’s sake”—

Meaning, whatever story has just brought you
to the precipice of rapture or tears

has nothing, supposedly, to do with your own life,
or life in general. For it’s just life after all,

unlike in the movies: messy, unscripted,
thorny, unpredictable, unlikely

to arrive at clear resolution; drab,
even, against heightened technicolor,

a soaring musical soundtrack, the artful
montage of moments. Whereas in life,

mostly, when something does come to an end,
it is The End— the money running out

for rent, for school, for the emergency
operation; end of the affair, the marriage;

goodbye at the end of the pier,
the drunk sailors leaving with no

further thought of their one-night stand…
And no one wants to think anymore

of the foetid stench in the streets, of waifs
wandering at dawn with garlands of flowers

and outstretched palms, or the transgender found
in a hotel room with her head in the toilet bowl.


In response to Via Negativa: End of the month.

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