Solitude's Trespass: a poem

"She wasn't singing for me, anyway."

"Baronne de Crussol Florensac" 1785, oil on wood, painted by Vigée Le Brun

I wrote this poem when I went to the Élisabeth Louise Vigée Le Brun exhibit at the Met on Saturday.

To sin is to trespass, 

and I'm so tempted

by the shadow on the page of music,

half-hidden from my understanding.

She turns, perhaps she's heard

My heavy footfalls, though I hold my breath,

and pray: make me invisible, too late...


She pauses now, all wrapped in red and lace,

soft fur and black velvet,

silent, lips parted:

Were you leaving?


And I know, with deep sorrow,

That I will never hear her sing.


She wasn't singing for me anyway.