by Emma Aylor
I say all this to
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.