The Pianist



There’s a certain tenderness in the way

you play your piano.

Fingers climbing white upon black

upon ivory notes,

fringe tumbling, neck slackened.

Your sternum rises in concertina

or an exorcism of breath

drifting downwards through scales

in the honeyed light of bold mornings

you have stifled away with curtains.

They hang there, freshly torn skin.


You told me once, quite absently,

rubbing stumped resin on violin strings

that one can play two instruments perfectly

but one will always dominate.

I think about this for a moment, rotating my ankle

to a fragmented Moonlight Sonata,

watching minor chords seep from your eyes.


One always dominates.

I believe I am that violin, cornered out of your vision,

gathering dust

and I wonder who that piano is

as your fingers reach out and play.


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