Today's poem is by Timothy Kelly

Forearm Dissection

The fine, sheathed muscles laid in length-
wise, lapped, lank, orderly as slatted blinds
or a furrowed field, their far ends tapered
to ribbon to glide shiny through the wrist's
cinch, then bending from the bottleneck
in a well-ordered sort, a fine-gauge,
pegged-tight coursing to predetermined
anchorage at the phalanx of a finger.

I'm thinking of a section of saxophonists
in an Ives concerto, in a passage where
birds lift from trees, not playing but
drumming their horn-keys ten, fifteen seconds
with their fingers, so that the clatter, if you
close your eyes, becomes the rising din
of beating wings. Am I remembering
that correctly? Music, heavenly,

from profane hand and hollow horn,
bodies curved congruous, accommodating,
each patterned movement, each set
of stops completing circuits, parsing
breath into notes; clipped, voluptuous,
quartered, counted, until the hooded heart
stirs in its basket and rises, jewel-eyed,
intoxicated, wholly colonized, and sways.

Copyright © 2005 Timothy Kelly All rights reserved
from Toccata & Fugue
Floating Bridge Press
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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