Over Heard

My daughter’s dance class:
A brave octet of blue-clad torsos, all
Delicate and strung tight with snare drum ribs.
They gallop like crabs

Gone dizzy with light.
A lone piano chord sends them spinning.
We’re born from beneath a throb of human
Song. We hear sound raw,

Drink it in gulps, and
Wheel away laughing.

And then
I drop a needle on Debussy, sewing vinyl tones
Into the backdrop of cleaning and home repairs. Dear man,
Who left the ocean for La Mer, mind lost in a scherzo
While his fourth mistress pointed a revolver at her chest—

It was 1904. His friends said, no, he did not play
The piano, but attacked it, like a brother enraged,
Lost and mad east of God’s polyphonic garden.
In ignominy, he must bash the keys to waken me.
Selah.

Grandmother’s mother.
She plays dominoes after breakfast with
Whoever loves life enough to visit
An old, tired woman.

She repeats herself.
Forgetfulness and age, so we all say.
Or, the wisdom to know you never hear
Everything at once.

Even the short tales
Have to be spun twice.

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