March 22, 2013

Kathleen A. Wakefield

WHILE TAKING A NAP, THE INVISIBLE STENOGRAPHER
DREAMS SHE CAN PLAY THE VIOLIN

Cithern, lyre, lute, viola d’amore—
all her life she’s dreamt of playing
something she can stroke
and pluck, pass her hand over like a god.

She lifts her bow in the empty hall,
dark but for the circle of light she stands in.
How easily the notes spiral out, as if drawn from her throat,
then descend in a near ruinous scale, quiver
and soar until she’s lifted out of herself, out of this world
without a word.

She’s learned this piece by heart.
Now she invents as she goes, swaying
at the knees, glissando,
accelerando,
piz-zi-cato

She wonders if there’s someone in the darkness
listening to the jazz riff she’s arrived at,
sweet licks of sound, hot, sexy,
a little sad, the voice
she didn’t know she had.

from Rattle #37, Summer 2012

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