Blackbirdan online journal of literature and the artsFall 2017  Vol. 16 No. 2
an online journal of literature and the arts
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The Glass Sonata

You called it something like thinking.

Let’s say it was primarily a mode of transport,
like a train.

That it moved smoothly.

Was transparent.

That we could see the details
of the women’s dresses,
as they smoothed their hands—

over twill, or silk,
cotton, wool.

That the surface was as phallic
as a monorail.

Or you could use it like a bullet—
to slip in your jacket pocket
just for touch—

that is, remember
what it’s meant to do.

But this is a slipperier invention.

Even in the absence of muscle tone,
the insisting flame.

The way it demands to make itself known—

to lead to what cannot be followed.

Here, it demands that we give up
the beginning—not look back.

There could be words about the sound
of the fountain

or the small, concentric rings of light
as, late, they fall on paper.

But, really, that’s not it.

Is it?

It’s closer, even.
Closer to the body.

Here, we abandon years of insistent rhythm—
just to hear it.
But not its sound.

Can we be quiet enough together now
to hear it—
hear it

and not break it—  

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