“Scratch that-this is not a moment.”

At first,
I thought it was the moment
I learned my father was dying.

I thought,
perhaps singing “Somewhere” softly
to the dulcet tones of
clinical machines and
labored breathing
(yet somehow knowing Bernstein wouldn’t mind).

But later,
I thought,
the rush of standing up stark straight,
mourning veil strategically placed over red eyes and red lips,
to process out with pipes and marble and Vidor all in my wake.
(She said I looked liked Eva Peron.
And it made her weep.)

I was certain,
it was all vegetables and knees
tumbling to linoleum,
as I tried to discern
“19 and friend”
from “fatal and ditch.”
(I later understand when these machines are described to me as driving explosions.)

I even thought,
it was to be,
comas and collars and contracts.

Imagine my surprise
when it was instead
mountains to climb,
blood to draw,
and mouths full of gunpowder.

Only to be swept aside
by infested homes,
worn tires,
empty wallets,
black-flies and Blackfriars.

So I decided
to see it instead
for buried treasure
and piano concertos-

though truly just
glowing ice cubes
and shadow puppets-

for electricity
rather than game points
and broken keys-

for nearly 600 years of melodies
coursing through me,

while it takes only
one hand to silence me
and one to set me free
all in a matter of moments.

All in a matter of moments.

I agree now
it is “not a moment,
it’s the movement.”

And that move is meant to make us.


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