At one point the lead violinist stood in front of the others as if setting an example. The others didn't follow so he stood alone, looking forward, his face occasionally severed by the conductor's frantically slicing baton. But he was not enough to break the sitting black shirts in the murder at the front of the cathedral. He stayed standing and played more furiously, begging the others to leave their seats. The strings of their violins and their cellos trembled and winced inside the belly of the dome. They resisted his call. They stayed seated and danced only with their eyebrows and their elbows in their chairs.

The cupola that they're sitting beneath was decorated by the soldier king who prayed under the dove, as if tempting peace to incapacitate him.

The music is soft now and it is filling the ornate belly of the white whale cathedral like sunlight through dirty windows. Pervasive and diffuse, it is the sound of looking through pouring honey. The black crow orchestra raise their wings, arching their arms and pushing them over themselves, like breaking waves. The sound slides lower down. It sinks into the backs of the audience's throats and it catches there like disappointment. Two hundred silent throats tighten, under the dove, inside of the whale. The sound runs below them, underground, and the growling-swallet is filled with thunder.

Outside the summer sky is darkening, filling the cathedral windows with ink. The flame-shaped globes put out a golden light that polishes the gilt at the tops of the cathedral columns; precious tipped whales ribs.

The orchestra are dropping their elbows now and the pitch of the storm starts racing. Their arms are by their sides and their bows are vertical, stabbing the sky a thousand times a second, slashing furiously and wincing in seizures. Their hearts sprint up the ladders in their chests and their chins tilt ever so slightly towards the painted sky. The highest notes freeze the air inside of their lungs like the pre-death panic of drowning.

And the first drop of rain at the end of the drought is the smallest drop in timbre. It razors the napes of necks open. The relief is counted in the foreclosing of four hundred eyelids, broke and destitute, folding with the wings of the violinists. The applause breaks the heat and the drought and it rains down so loudly that the orchestra leave.

And as two hundred silent bodies rise to leave the cathedral, the pews ache like the tall trees after the rain.