Gymnopedies Revolving

Between my ribs there is a longing

Lilt by lilt, chord by chord,

I hear Gymnopedies revolving

Through my fingers, like fine silt

More and more the voice is calling

The narrator clears her throat

Like a stewardess

In a fresh pressed dress

Like a one-woman show


She smirks. She throws a look.

I know

A pause, and then Gymnopedies

Because it’s playing on repeat

I feel the chords

Inside my hands

Half-listening to her commands

It calms me as she says by rote

How to – in danger – keep afloat


The danger isn’t in the sea

Or in the fire or on the wing

The danger’s in the deafness of

A mind-altering suffering

Or so I thought

Her voice was gone

I could not find it anywhere

Through the sealing of my ears

In the heightened atmosphere

I worried that the pain would end

Forever words that once roamed free

But pain’s a kind of currency

When your trade is poetry


So now with better strength, I stand

And rummage through the pockets of

Five years of grit and overcoats

To find loose change and dental gum

With this, perhaps, I’ll pay my dues

With this, perhaps, I’ll slowly chew

My ears will pop. I’ll hear her rant

As we ascend above the land

And as we slip above the sea

I’ll hum to the Gymnopedies