Monday, May 17, 2010

In Year Thirteen

I have not,
but the other day I felt I had lived a long time,
with you. The smell and touch of you as a person.
I was descending the steps to the R train,
music blasting in my ears and

he was standing against the wall at the bottom of the stairs.
Gentle sloped back, his fingers running over the
fret, a slick dark wood, wet as if kissed,
taunt strings,
the bow like a knife with which he would chop
through all this sick stale air.

I watched him rock back on his heels,
breathing through his mouth,
the violin tucked into his neck
like a child
like a lover

the way your face was earlier,
not even an hour ago,
your hands at my waist,
up against the kitchen table, your breath in my ear
feeling you come,
as if neither of us would let me out the front door
without this little parting kiss.
Your chin cradled by my shoulder.

I took the earphones off,
so that I might listen,
and watched people drop change
in his case. I had no change but didn’t feel guilty
because at that moment,
with the trilling notes echoing
off all that hand built stone
deep in the depths of the underground,
it didn’t seem to matter to the violinist.
He was somewhere else already.

Paganini, I thought,
the devil, the gypsy, the curved spine.
But as the doors closed and he was taken from me,
still playing,
still frantically playing,
without an audience
against the rush and roar of this metal machine
pulling us all away from each other,
I decided on Vivaldi.
It’s more romantic that way.

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