Communicating Without Meeting (a mini opera)

Communicating Without Meeting

Written for the ENO Mini Opera Contest in 2012.

A man and a woman stand at opposite sides of the stage, the area between them engulfed in nothingness.  He stands in a kitchen; she stands in a living room.  In the kitchen is a fridge with word magnets and a counter with a coffeepot.  In the living room is a table with pens and a stack of post-it notes.


A cup of coffee,

Warm and thick,

Smoothed with milk–

This is love.


A scribbled memo

On a post-it note

Left for me to find–

This is love.


She answers me

With coded lyrics

Across the metal–

She shows her love.


He takes some time

To clean and write,

Little hints–

He shows his presence.


I know she still loves me

By the silky morning brew,

The poetic lines left behind–

Why bother doubting this?


His words are commonplace

But the care in the writing

Reveals his inner thoughts–

How can I mistrust?

They walk past each other through the center space, switching ‘rooms’.


Dishes done.

Money in bank.

Missing you.

See you Friday?


Friday’s bad

But thanks for asking.

Food in fridge,

Coffee tomorrow.


New roast’s great,

Enjoyed the food.

Here’s a ticket–

Happy birthday.


Concert was great.

Wish you had come.

Have time to meet?

Coffee tomorrow.


Too much work,

No time this week.

Maybe next?

Might not work out.


Next week’s no good,

Heading out of town.

How’s next month?

Coffee tomorrow.


Next month has promise;

Decide later?

Thanks for dinner;

Heated up nice.


Picked up some fruit;

Wash before eating.

Good luck at work.

Coffee tomorrow.


Why should I change

What works so well?

If we met at all

I might not love.


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