The Maynard
Spring 2015

Angela Rebrec

The Stale Cold Smell of Morning

after Memory from Cats the musical


The morning conversation you shared with the bathroom mirror

had ‘relapse’ all over it.


At first you didn’t have a name—only people who named you.


Then there was waiting.


In a stroke of pure genius, God invented musical theatre

soon after isolating light from darkness.


You insinuate ‘relapse’ but no one hears the in-between conversation.


Your copy of the manuscript with penciled-in notes in the margin

suggests a change to the cast in Act III Scene 3


Who let you backstage alone in no moonlight?


God chewed on some popcorn, hummed the melody from Cats.

A tear welled in one eye.


Names you never chose for yourself follow you

like a tune stuck in your head.


The people who named you follow you

in your head like a stuck tune.


‘Relapse’ is just another word for repeat again and again

until you get it right.


Darkness waits as a stack of manuscripts in the green room.


You practiced backstage as the evening rained.

Your name—a melancholy ballad—hung beside the theatre spotlights.


God’s blue eye in the morning.


Then there was waiting:

finally the people who named you found you.


You get it right.