One Night Only! 

by Christianne Goodwin



The Museman looks askance
as his audience enters - 

single spotlight dangling,
lighting only his hands 

outstretched in unassuming
pose while his observers 

strain to see him, murmur
and sit, but stay encoated. 

For one night only 
in glittering Moscow, 
a pre-told visit from 
the Devil himself! 

The light rises, 
all gasp in recognition 

A figure revealed, bearing
the face of a dearest friend 

Impossible! I knew it! 
The bastard! By god, 
is that my dog? 

Hysterics turn to weeping,
pleading, noise rising like water 

And no one notices 
the Devil’s quiet exit — 

All stumble out to find 
their umbrellas stolen, 

then hide under awnings
to catch cabs in the rain


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