I adore Mozart’s The Magic Flute. Tamino seeks enlightenment; He walks the narrow path. His road inclines steeply; His burden weighs heavy; His wonted mode of thought No longer suits; He turns away from the night. The light embraces him; he it. And as he unites with Pamina, They bravely emerge from their trials, Ennobled and ideal. But his arias bore the audience; He is a mere hero. Papageno catches birds, Sells them at the market, Whistles on his panpipes, Has his mouth stopped up By the Queen of the Night. He craves nothing more Than food and drink And a pretty girl. He dreads the mildest of chores, He basks in the gaze of his beloved. His baritone captivates; He feeds his soul to the score. In the opera, these companions thrive in parallel And graciously rejoice In each other's gloried gains. But in this ribcage of a stadium, They war merrily Over the scarred triangle at its core. Papageno, the linebacker Cradles the fumbled prize, Curling over it while Tamino claws. As they and their devoted partisans Move it up and down the divoted pitch, A crowd will roar with every run and pass, With every down and score. And the righteous will cheer Tamino. But I of weary, anticlimactic descent From the peak of life’s most sublime vistas Will wear the brilliant colors Of Papageno’s feathers And root heartily instead for him.