No. 7


J. Kates   


O how she openly embraces music I would be the instrument between her legs her fingers on my mellow strings my scroll along her shoulder and a single point against her arch to hold me steady while she plays I swell and taper

Barrel pirate of my adolescence now I hear him clumping on behind me muttering in a honeyed baritone good counsel graveled warnings life is hard and slow and resonant for one alone and dangerous in company weigh every measure

Prodigious on the shrill heights he dives a schoolboy at the quarry in July over and over in the cold and oily water at the rockfoot never dipping far below the bright surface where ice rises over abandoned machinery

Always a step in the background she is one whose face in the photograph is hidden she has turned to hear her neighbor’s whisper stooped to soothe a fretful child I have looked for her recall her easy frequent smile




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