Dolce Ni they called her.
She was sitting in her seat in the opera house.
Her legs were red from her beating fists.
She had to do it once more.
Dolce bit her lip to repress her tears.
Nicolosa saw him down there.
With her. And she had promised to disappear and not care.
But Dolce Ni is still there.
Her hair made up.
Her neck powdered and smelling like roses.
Anticipating his invisible advances.
Her lips addicted to kisses that are sour.
As her breath dissolves beneath her dress she forgets to blink.
Wondering when it all started, this labyrinth of disaster.
When he blanketed her with lies and false hopes.
The woman on his arm, her lips are mauve, her scent lavender.
It’s not as easy as that.
He knows that Dolce is up there.
He can feel her sorrow and mocks her as he parades his escort.
As Dolce bites her tongue, he licks his lips.
The master of ignorance with a filing system containing dozens of women.
Dolce Nicolosa evaporated in her loge, her pride a distress.
She forgot all about his caress as there is nothing left of it but whiffs of bony air.
The shallow man acquiring all the scents.
As he strutted amongst the busybodies Dolce gravitated towards the end of her days.
After the interval, the opera singer reclaims her space of artistry.
Dolce Ni put her hands on her swollen belly.
The soprano’s voice shook the earth, but not as much as Dolce’s body landing on the floor.
“Portrait of a Lady” by Vittorio Matteo Corcos (1859-1933)