Forgive Your Assassin

Hillery Stone

It ended badly, I unbound my days, listened to Lacrimosa
on a scratched record from the attic and felt
the cruel death of Mozart from inside the damp hole
he was thrown into, Salieri crying All I wanted was to sing to God!
Surely I understood the tragedy of exchange watching
that scene at ten, weeping for the indignity, how
could anyone betray another like that
and call it divine? When we set my grandmother into
the earth in her backyard, heavy rain loosened the crabapples
from the antlered tree and they fell like rocks
over the land. I remembered the horses and their violent
galloping, the blue mist of Vienna, the indifference
of the murderer. Didn’t I feel only friendship
before? Nothing with the force to destruct, just
the pleasant first blossom of that flushed and acrid fruit.
Grandma left one life for another but what a betrayal
awaited her. What a god we sing to.