Piano - Susan Peiffer
You will never know a warm winter blooming into stone—the thousand levitating stars shedding their loose light
into morning or the way the sun is born blind—moves like warm fingertips across a child’s face.
You will never know the sound of A minor turning into G—the silence between those two points caving like a human spine
into a question mark & you will never be able to name the current president or the dark horse of a team making
their way to the Super Bowl—the day your son got married, the way he stood at the edge of the ocean, the atmosphere
melting behind him, his lips tilting into a smile. Yesterday, a woman out on probation plowed her SUV into a man
& 3 children. The woman could have been you, but it wasn’t you & you will never remember the years I took the spark plugs
from your car to save that man & 3 children—how I hid my keys & wallet at the bottom of the piano bench—the piano
I never played or knew how to play—the sheet music that made no sense, a random series of meaningless dots & horizontal lines—
I will never tell you of the rorschach blotched stars of sunlight bouncing off the inlet outside—their way of hypnotizing a human being if you stare for too long—or the morning after Christmas when the snow baptized the dunes & you & your sister slid
head-first into the numb arms of the Atlantic. You won’t remember me—too busy trying to still the earthquake in my hands—the fog
twistingaround my head—busy inhaling—busy forgetting—busy in my dark 1 room apartment w my dirty hair—blinds drawn
my back slumped—scavenging the carpet for a rogue pill—a flesh of ash—a dust of magic.
Meanwhile—a broken heart continues to invent its own vocabulary from a sleepless night—
a stilted crane tiptoes through the marsh outside as if the whole world should shift under its weight—
& I will sit at that damn piano & begin to play—not knowing where my fingertips are going—where I might end up
when no one is listening—each note—a shape willing itself alive in my hands.