(Beethoven’s Ninth Symphony)
You sit behind the orchestra, spellbound
by complex chemistry you’ve heard before:
a measured mix of breath and time and sound
decreed by small black icons in the score.
You recognize these runes, for you’ve been trained
to translate this arcane calligraphy—
to be a catalyst for unexplained
excursions into immortality.
At last you stand; at last you get to sing,
your mortal, mid-range voice admitting you
to this inspired amalgam. Finally
your notes are needed for the rendering
of gold: believe, and count, and on your cue,
supply the center of the alchemy.