Shoulders rounded over the acoustic,
his fingers searched the strings, and
pick by pick he prepared for music,
His hands go slowly and I become uneasy.
But such hands need no guide, save time.
Such hands know the fields of meaning
and know their duty to bring it home.
When he made the strings tremble,
I trembled. I trembled in the aisles &
I trembled in the corners of my mind.
And I venture a little country tune never
flurried so much water under the bridge,
nor ever had Vivaldi in four seasons.
I was the ribbon loosened on my wheel,
and I ran the dry, stony, riverbed,
a child unable to foresee famine ahead.
I ran down streets
your bike close on my heels,
and I weaved like a serpent
too slippery for you to catch.
I ran through parks
grassy with green benches
top lit by imitation gas lamps,
lamps under which we were creative
with our lips — Lips eager to press
or consume as Etta’s voice quivered:
Let’s fall in love.
I ran up and down stairs
their creaks unheard, because
in their joints I’d placed my trust
once over the threshold you’d carried me,
whispering promises you always would.
When the strumming stopped,
I felt I’d run all night
into the silence where the leaves of my heart,
like a maroon beauty on the water’s surface,
quietly folded back up its floating flower.