by Emma Aylor

I say all this to
witness disappearance,

to show you that I don't believe
any more. I only believe

in the man tuning our piano,
his seersucker cheeks. Do you see

these, his hair and stubble the colors
of ridge-knifing rocks, his head tipped

to catch pitches like gnats
as he plods on the plangent keys again?

He has flayed it;
he pulls its ribs back

to expose velvet like old photographs'
red dresses, their pigments pressing through

dust, to unwrap gold coils
to straw and splinter. Love is bitter

and all there is, Zelda said, and you know
this to be true. I have had to show you.

I tell you this to speak it.
I tell you as I'd spit on the floor.