July 18, 2011

Piano Lesson

by Faith Shearin

My eyes open before the sun drops its yolk into the sky
and a girl upstairs is practicing scales. I imagine the arch
of her hand, the way her skirt might pause above the knee.

In the street I hear a victim, a paper cup, a man who talks
physics with a pigeon; a pair of girls blow bubblegum bubbles
at the sky. Perhaps an old woman dreams of her childhood

on a park bench while the man beside her decides to leave
his wife. The world is complicated: an open window,
my head pressed to a pillow where I find a tidal action:

so many bodies rolling onto the planet, so many others
turning back. In a cafe I may someday light a cigarette,
remember the last person who did not love me, open my

mouth to see if it speaks smoke or words. But these days
I wake up wondering: how will I fit all this life in one life?
I need a map, a vocabulary list; I can't learn the world

fast enough. I want to be like the girl upstairs who has braced
herself before a grand piano and taught her own blind fingers to sing.