like a waltz
crossed onto a
lifted and sung
over the soul
of your arm
you are lilting
you are fallen
and the calling of
the giving in
throws you off balance and
over there is a railing
and it’s all that’s keeping
you from falling
into yourself much
too far
and look: the
strings are broken
it’s the loss of
a mountain dripping blood,
a river drying up,
a bathtub steaming in brutal ecstasy,
you’ve switched to 5/4, and
it’s not very likable, is it, it
sounds like a prog band in your head
suddenly you’re in germany
it’s a festival of grief and rope, of
shrunken heads stuck on the florescent poles of your youth,
middle age hasn’t been much better has it with
all these time changes and
today, you feel like you used up all your grace, and
that makes you feel like giving up but
you might be moving into 6/8, you
might be atonal, but in a more agreeable way
the colors of the pointillist scale,
captured by ribbons,
then those random streaking brushstrokes,
they carry you away,
down to the water,
the lifetime of sinking

and just at the last few feet, you realize how much
the sinking has been a betrayal
and look:
the view is stunning and just at that last moment
something lifts you,
a remarkable cadence,
a miraculous chord change happens, and
now the lines on the staff transpose into
a finer movement,
you learn to give in to the artfulness of the sound
and look:

you’re still alive, and
that is a fucking gift, any
way you play it
even in the sea of lost art and survival
even in the space of an uneven rest
even in the museum of your untold artfulness

and look: